South Tahoe Public Utility District candidate profile: Chris Cefalu
Occupation: Businessman, Airline Pilot
Why are you running for re-election?
I am running for re-election because there is no substitute for experience. The District is facing the challenge of an aging infrastructure. Over the next several years, we will be able to pinpoint the areas where we can extend the life of our assets and where they must be replaced. One candidate would like to impose double digit rate increases, while another believes that green energy is the answer to our problems. Neither are realistic solutions for the District or the rate payers.
What are your qualifications?
I am a lifelong resident of South Lake Tahoe; I have a B.S. in managerial economics from the University of California at Davis. I have owned and operated successful business in South Lake Tahoe for over 35 years.
I currently serve as a director on the South Tahoe Public Utility District board. I serve on the finance committee, the workforce housing ad hoc committee, and the Alpine County ad hoc committee. I have nine years of sound decisions as a director representing the rate payers of the District.
What is the No. 1 issue facing the District? How would you address it?
The No. 1 issue facing the District is how to fund necessary replacement of the nearly 60 year old sewer and water system over the next decade.
The answer to this question is that we are already in the process of solving this problem. The District has instituted a fantastic process to assess the condition of the sewer and water system through an asset optimization program. This will determine which linear assets are in good condition and which need replacement.
Secondly, through new technology, we can rehabilitate some water and sewer lines without actually digging them up and replacing them. Lastly, we will be able to pinpoint areas of weakness in the system and replace those areas systematically based on a prioritization schedule.
This is a very complex process but one that will save the District and its rate payers millions over time. We can adjust rates responsibly to finance these improvements rather than throwing money at the system with giant rate increases that we cannot afford and which I believe are not necessary or in the best interest of the rate payers.
The District is always aggressively searching for funding through grants and low interest loans to off-set the cost of these projects. In addition, the District will always look at ways to save money by making the system more efficient and therefore less costly to operate.
This includes green energy if and when it can be implemented with a cost saving to the rate payers which currently it cannot.
Why should voters select you to serve on the board?
Voters should select me to be on the board because I believe that given the same information, they would make the same decisions that I have made and will make in the future.
My goals as a director have always been clear: Make sound decisions with ALL available information that serve the best interests of the rate payers.
This includes making decisions that allow the District to make necessary and vital repairs to the system and also to keep the same excellent level of service that we have become accustomed to from the District.