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CPUD hires new law firm; seeks interim general manager

By Gregg Scott

Staff Writer


The Feb. 15 meeting of the Chester Public Utility District/Chester Fire Department had very limited public representation in attendance as the board discussed some of the upcoming challenges.

After the meeting was opened, one of the first action items was to approve a new legal firm to represent and help guide the board through the legalities faced by the special district.  After a board vote to accept the firm of Prentice/Long PC located in Redding, Board Chair Steve Voboril introduced firm partner Margaret Long as the lead attorney for the district.

The next item on the agenda was a closed session that included the new legal counsel and the board returned and reported that no action was taken. Public comment included a question regarding the status of the “Blue Star Moms” active-duty banners, and when they are scheduled to be put up. Fire Chief Brian Layne reported, over the phone, that a new employee has been assigned to be a liaison with the Blue Star Moms and the banners should be going up soon.

Item 15 on the agenda was an update from the ad-hoc committee regarding the search for a new General Manager. Chairman Voboril explained an offer for an independent contractor who is willing to come to Chester and fill the role of GM on a month-to-month basis in an attempt to get the utility side back on track with proper protocols and practices. This interim GM would also help determine the number of hours and appropriate compensation that would be needed for a permanent appointee. According to Voboril, it appears that in 2020 the GM position was compensated over $100,000 dollars for working approximately 15 hours a week. The district is holding a special meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 22 at 3 p.m. to meet with the contractor.

One other interesting item that was reported in the Fire Chief’s report is that PG&E is renting space in the hangar, adjacent to the fire office, to park a trailer at the rate of $200 a day.

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