My last meeting as president of the Pine Cove Water District board was last week, and it happened to coincide with a letter in the TC criticizing the board. So this seems a good time to offer some final thoughts about the district.

Let me jump right to the conclusion: I believe the district is an excellent organization, with committed and skilled staff, and an involved board that takes its duties seriously. The result is that the district has a rather remarkable water system for its size, providing residents with high-quality water at an affordable price.

The heart of the district is General Manager Jerry Holldber, who has been there 29 years. In my view, he has an exemplary record of developing the system in all aspects, from production to storage to distribution. He is passionate about the district, and ever since I have known him, he has worked with the board and staff to plan and carry out major improvements and programs.

His long-term thinking led him to do things before others, such as starting a rebate program on low-water toilets and washing machines years ago to encourage conservation. He also started a popular program selling discounted rain barrels for water capture three years ago, and has always provided Pine Covers free mulch to slow water evaporation around vegetation.

And by digging new wells and building the Dutch Flats treatment facility several years ago, Jerry has placed the district in a good position to handle the current drought.

The district does almost all its maintenance and improvements with its own staff, who constantly replace pipes and meters, and who built the Dutch Flats building that houses the new water treatment facility. This practice has allowed the district to do more with less, and resulted in a very capable and well-maintained system. It is anything but antiquated.

The district, both board and staff, makes every effort to stay in touch with customers and communicate clearly. An indication of this is the fact that the Pine Cove Water District has received two awards for transparency from the California Special Districts Association.

Robert Hewitt will be the new board president, and I am sure he will work with the board and Jerry to continue bringing great, affordable water to the people of Pine Cove.

Mike Esnard
Past President of the Pine Cove Water District Board of Directors