SCV’s new water agency elects a second vice president


Board members of Santa Clarita Valley’s new water agency elected longtime board member R. J. Kelly to be their second vice president Tuesday as the agency continues to unfold as planned and remain “on target.”

The Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency also got down to business Tuesday when it took the first to dissolve the Valencia Water Company — a private company owned by a public agency.

R. J. Kelly.

Last week, the newly formed agency elected William Cooper as its president and Maria Gutzeit, as vice-president.

“We’re on target,” Kelly told The Signal Wednesday, reflecting on what he called “a smooth transition.”

The old system of delivering water to SCV’s homes and businesses was more than a half-century old and involved one wholesaler dealing with three main water retailers.

The new system will see one agency delivering water to ratepayers in three newly defined divisions.

“We have so many situations in the midst of being completed both with the Castaic Lake Water Agency and the Newhall County Water District,” he said, referring to the now-defunct  wholesaler and water retailer, respectively.

One of the more pressing “situations” unfolding in the SCV is the overall plan to boost the community’s use of recycled water by 2020, he said.

A number of “purple pipe” projects are already in place

“We’re hoping that Valencia Water (Company) coming on board will help speed up that process,” Kelly said.

“We just need to make sure we maintain a good pace and to keep the cost down,” he said.

The senate bill which created the new water agency calls for the immediate the immediate dissolution of the Valencia Water Company, which the CLWA had purchased in terms of controlling shares five years ago.

Members of the new water agency — the Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency — have until the end of the month to take the appropriate steps in authorizing the dissolution of the VWC.

By Jan. 31, the SCVWA must not only dissolve the company, but must transfer the company’s assets, property, liability and debts to the SCV Water Agency.

On Tuesday, board members approved a recommendation authorizing the agency’s General Manager Matt Stone to implement a “Plan of Dissolution” and begin dissolving the VWC according to Senate Bill 634.

The only other change made to the new board Tuesday was the resignation of longtime board member Bill Pecsi.

William “Bill” Pecsi, who joined the CLWA board back in 1998 and who was re-elected in November to a seat representing Division 3, resigned from his post as vice president of the board in April.

On Tuesday, he resigned as a member of the board.

In April, Pecsi announced he was moving to Arizona, noting at the time that the move would likely prompt the board to interview people to replace him.

Bill Pecsi.

“Eventually, I will leave, then the board has the option of appointing someone,” he said in April. “They’ll likely make an appointment by interviewing people.”

The next order of business for the new agency will be to define the various committees that would help guide the agency.

The next public meeting of the SCVWA is slated for Tuesday Jan. 16.

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