South Tahoe Public Utility District candidate profile: Eric W. Schafer | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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South Tahoe Public Utility District candidate profile: Eric W. Schafer

Eric W. Schafer

Age: 75

Occupation: Certified Public Accountant

Why are you running for election?

My family moved here in 1986. I have a significant record of community service:

12 years on the Lake Tahoe Unified School District Board

14 years on the STPUD Board from 2001-2014

Financial leadership as treasurer and board member for Tahoe Heritage Foundation, Kiwanis Sunrisers and South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce

Full commitment to board member service and responsibilities

Comprehensive understanding of public finance

High desire to continue my service to our community

What are your qualifications?

48 years as a Certified Public Accountant; tax practice in Tahoe since 1994

20 years with National Accounting Firm as audit partner

Reputation for unbiased and fact-based decision making

Understanding of complex financial information and business operations

District budgets for 2018-19 are over $46 million; this is a big business

Leadership skills further evidenced by service to California Lutheran University:

Two years as Alumni Association president

Eight years as member of the Board of Regents, seven as Budget/Finance Committee chair

What is the No. 1 issue facing the District? How would you address it?

Infrastructure improvements and maintenance

Fire safety follows closely

Complying with the water meter mandate has reduced the opportunity to accelerate the District’s maintenance program. However, the recent acquisition of a better camera truck and increased inspection is providing prioritization of aging pipe replacement. The challenge is striking the best possible balance between District infrastructure needs with community resources.

The upsizing of waterlines, largely from small, private districts STPUD was asked to acquire, has been an ongoing priority for years. Also, the District should be applauded for organizing the Tahoe Water for Fire Suppression Partnership; this has brought $16 million in federal funding to public agencies around the lake.

Without the District’s organization and grant administration capabilities, this would never have happened. Including local funding, over $47 million in nine years has been used to increase water storage and capacity and install fire hydrants.

You address the needs by:

Continuing the District’s asset management program to identify and prioritize projects

Budgeting regular, affordable increases to service fees

Using our successful ($36 million) grant program to the fullest extent

Exploring new revenue sources; Diamond Valley Ranch has electricity generation, alfalfa sales and cattle grazing revenues

Annually reducing operating and maintenance expenses as much as possible

Why should voters select you to serve on the board?

My past service demonstrates the following:

Leadership skills and respect of other board members

Clear understanding of financial information

Listening to public concerns in conducting board meetings

Active participation in organizations outside the Tahoe Basin to enrich my knowledge of water and wastewater as related to the District

Belief that improving the environment is a consideration in every board decision

I am proud to have been part of making the District one of a handful of wastewater agencies in the world that can claim 100 percent reuse of both recycled water and biosolids

I offer dedicated service committed to listening and understanding community concerns.

I would appreciate and respect your vote.


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