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Council interviews applicants

Christine Metz

— Familiar faces will come before the City Council Tuesday as it determines who should fill the three city-appointed positions on the proposed Water Authority Board.

A former City Council president, a former manager of Mount Werner Water, the chair of the Impact Fee Committee and a spouse of a current council member are among the eight people who have applied for the position.

Bill Martin, Dan Birch, Paul Stettner, Anthony Vaida, Stephen Cavanagh, Nancy Mayer, Mark Traum and Marcus Williams have all applied for the board.

On Tuesday, the council will interview the candidates, less than a month before it asks voters to approve the proposed agreement on Nov. 5.

The positions are for a two-year, three-year and four-year term.

The Mount Werner Water and Sanitation District, which will consolidate with the city to form the authority, will select four members for the seven-member board.

The proposed water authority agreement requires that all appointments to the board be made within ten days of its approval.

The council has said it wants to establish who will be on the board before asking voters to approve the authority.

Under the agreement, the only way a board member could be taken off the board would be through a recall election prompted by residents.

Martin was the City Council president in the early 90s and worked on negotiating a merger between the city and Mount Werner Water.

This summer, as the water agreement was going through council approval, Martin was among those who spoke out against the agreement.

In his application to the city, Martin wrote that consolidation is an opportunity to unite the community by bringing old town and the mountain together. He wrote that the board should reflect varied interest and constituencies, and represented a constituency that needs to be heard.

Dan Birch managed Mount Werner Water from 1996 to 2001.

He is now a project development manager for the Colorado River Water Conservation District and a water referee for the Division 6 Water Court.

In his application, Birch said he wanted to see the authority operate in a business-like fashion dedicated to providing the highest-quality, customer-oriented service at the lowest possible cost.

Based on his experience as manager, he said rate equalization between the two entities could occur sooner rather than later.

He sees a substantial decrease to city rates with a relatively minor increase to Mount Werner rates.

Paul Stettner is the vice president of technical services at TIC The Industrial Company and the husband of councilwoman Arianthe Stettner.

Stettner has a background in water engineering and construction. Having designed various components for the city’s water and sewer system, Stettner wrote that he could offer technical expertise and insights as a board member.

The council will also interview Anthony Vaida, a lawyer and chairman of the city’s Impact Fee Committee. Vaida submitted his name in June and told the council he had served as the municipal attorney for many local government entities in New Jersey.

From that experience, Vaida wrote that he had substantial expertise in serving as utility counsel in consolidations similar to the water authority.

Stephen Cavanagh is a contractor who has a civil engineering background and has been an active community member since the mid-1970s.

In his application, Cavanagh said he has long been an advocate of consolidation and feels it is important to keep politics out of the board’s responsibilities.

Nancy Mayer is completing her Master’s degree in Environmental Policy with an emphasis on water conservation, land planning and citizen conflict resolution.

Mayer was on her town’s Citizen Advisory Committee in upstate New York and owns a manufacturing consulting and education company with her husband in Steamboat.

Marcus Williams is an entrepreneur, builder and artist. In his application, he wrote the most pressing issues for the water authority are trying to recognize growth and satisfy everybody.

A member of the city’s Board of Adjustments, Traum also applied for the position. Traum has a degree in mechanical engineering and is a senior buyer for TIC.


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