The Santa Clara Valley Water District strives to provide Silicon Valley with safe, clean water for a healthy life, environment, and economy. The District is now seeking a Chief Operating Officer of Water Utility Enterprise. The ideal candidate has a track record of demonstrated leadership, proven accomplishments, and superior performance in a public agency, public utility, municipal organization, or a closely related organization with an emphasis on water utility management, including operations, maintenance, and capital projects delivery. A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college with major course work in business administration, public administration, public policy, engineering, or a closely related field is required. A Master’s degree is highly desirable. Minimum experience requirements include eight years of recent and increasingly responsible administrative or managerial experience in the public sector, water, or related industry. Experience managing multiple water utility functions is highly desirable. The annual salary range for the Chief Operating Officer is $180,024-$256,526; placement within this range will be dependent upon qualifications.
The mission of the Santa Clara Valley Water District is to provide Silicon Valley safe, clean water for a healthy life, environment, and economy.
With headquarters in San Jose, the District provides water supply, enhances streams and watersheds through creek restoration and habitat protection; provides flood protection for homes, schools, businesses and roadways, and partners with other agencies to provide trails and open space for the community.
The District effectively manages 10 dams and surface water reservoirs, three water treatment plants, an advanced recycled water purification center, a state-of-the-art water quality laboratory, nearly 400 acres of groundwater recharge ponds, and more than 275 miles of streams to serve nearly 2 million people in Santa Clara County that stretches 1,300 square miles and encompasses 15 cities and unincorporated areas.
The District provides wholesale water and groundwater management services to local municipalities and private water retailers who deliver drinking water directly to homes and businesses in Santa Clara County.
The District is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of seven members, each elected from equally-divided districts drawn through a formal process. The directors serve overlapping four-year terms.
As a public agency with the current FY2017 $523 million operating and capital budget and a staff of over 780 employees, the District is committed to being transparent and accountable with regard to its operations and business practices. The District maintains an integrated Quality and Environmental Management System (QEMS) conforming to ISO standards.
Recognized throughout the world as a center of technology and innovation, the City of San José is considered the Capital of Silicon Valley and is one of the most diverse large cities in the United States. Located roughly 50 miles south of San Francisco and 390 miles north of Los Angeles, the City enjoys an average of 300 days of sunshine a year. Those living and working in Santa Clara County have access to the Bay Area’s many attractions, cultural and performing arts, and recreational opportunities. A year-round calendar of festivals and celebrations supports the community spirit.
Nineteen public school districts and over 301 private schools provide residents with a range of educational choices; innovative programs in local school districts include a nationally acclaimed performing arts magnet, as well as concentrations in aerospace, international studies, math and science, radio and television, and more. Universities in and near Santa Clara County include San Jose State University, Santa Clara University, California State University East Bay, Stanford University, and three University of California campuses.
Once a largely agrarian valley, Santa Clara County’s transformation into Silicon Valley, the technology center of the world, has led to the county hosting the largest concentration of technology expertise in the world. More than 6,600 technology companies in the area employ more than 254,000 people. San José does not have an ethnic majority; residents include speakers of more than 56 different languages. The County is proud of its quality of life and of the rich cultural diversity evident in its population, its workforce, and its many neighborhoods.
The Chief Operating Officer of Water Utility Enterprise (COO WUE) reports directly to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and is designated as unclassified/at-will. The COO WUE is responsible and accountable for the planning, management, performance, and improvement of the District’s water utility divisions and functions. The COO WUE directs four divisions: Water Utility Capital, Water Supply, Treated Water Operations & Maintenance, and Raw Water Operations and Maintenance with a total operating and capital budget of $360 million and a staff of approximately 300. The COO WUE serves as a key member of the executive leadership team and represents the CEO and the District in interactions with employees, the public, water retailers, and other agencies and organizations.
Essential responsibilities and duties include:
- Provides direction and leadership in the identification, development, and implementation of strategies, programs, ordinances, policies, decisions, assignments, and activities of the District’s water utility operations, maintenance and capital improvement program to protect and augment water supplies, provide treated water, and ensure efficient and effective results.
- Provides direction and leadership to the management of the District’s water utility infrastructure including: 10 dams and surface water reservoirs, three water treatment plants, an advanced recycled water purification center, water quality laboratory, nearly 400 acres of groundwater recharge pond, and raw and treated water conveyance system; and operations and maintenance of the Central Valley Project (CVP) San Felipe Division and SFPUC-SCVWD intertie facilities.
- Provides direction and leadership to the management of the Water Utility Enterprise’s: local surface water supplies and water rights; groundwater subbasins; groundwater recharge operations; imported water program, including supplies from the federal CVP and the State Water Project, Semitropic Groundwater Storage Bank and other water transfers and exchanges; recycled and purified water supplies; and water conservation programs.
- Provides direction and leadership to the Water Utility Enterprise’s short and long term planning processes including: 5 Year Operations Plan; 5 Year Capital Improvement Program; Groundwater Management Plan; Urban Water Management Plan; Water Supply Master Plan; Asset Management Plan; Recycled and Purified Water Master Plans; Fisheries and Aquatic Habitat Collaborative Effort (FAHCE) Fish Habitat Restoration Plan; Annual Report on the Protection and Augmentation of Water Supplies including Groundwater and treated water rate setting process; Annual Operating and Capital Budget; Annual Water Operations Plan; Water Shortage Contingency and Drought Management Plan; and Emergency Operations Plans.
- Directs and evaluates the performance of organizational divisions, units, programs, and personnel; plans, organizes, oversees, authorizes, and coordinates divisional and districtwide projects, assignments, and activities.
- Represents the District before other governmental entities, water agencies, water retailers, community groups, employee organizations, and the general public; prepare technical, informational, and administrative reports and make presentations to various stakeholders.
- Serves as the District’s key spokesperson on issues regarding the Water Utility Enterprise.
- Performs human resource responsibilities associated with the organizational designation of “Appointing Authority” including building a diverse and inclusive organization, selecting, training, and evaluating personnel; provide staff development opportunities; use performance management tools; coach and counsel employees and managers; and administer disciplinary action.
- Works closely with the CEO in strategic planning; developing implementation plans; setting priorities; and serving as acting CEO in their absence.
- Represents the WUE on appropriate Board committees and keep Board members informed of critical issues as it relates to the Water Utility.
- Performs other assigned responsibilities as delegated by the CEO and/or assigned through District policies.
The ideal candidate has a track record of demonstrated leadership, proven accomplishments, and superior performance in a public agency, public utility, municipal organization, or a closely related organization with an emphasis on water utility management, including operations, maintenance, and capital projects delivery. A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college with major course work in business administration, public administration, public policy, engineering, or a closely related field is required. A Master’s degree is highly desirable. Minimum experience requirements include eight years of recent and increasingly responsible administrative or managerial experience in the public sector, water, or related industry. Experience managing multiple water utility functions is highly desirable. Must possess a valid California Driver’s license and maintain a satisfactory driving record.
The ideal candidate must be knowledgeable of:
- The principles, practices, and methods of leadership in a public agency, including governance, strategic planning, performance measurement, continuous quality improvement, and objectives, policies and procedures development and implementation;
- The principles and practices necessary to manage the core operational functions and programs in a water agency, including: groundwater, dam safety, water rights, imported water, raw and treated water conveyance, water treatment, recycled and purified water, operations & maintenance, asset management, water supply planning, environmental planning and capital construction;
- The principles and practices of effective leadership and staff supervision, including selection, training and development, dynamics of line-staff relationships, techniques of effective interpersonal communications and relations, effective problem-solving and decision-making techniques, planning and delegating work, performance evaluations, positive recognition methods, and progressive discipline;
- Applicable laws, regulations, legal mandates, guidelines, and standards affecting public agencies, particularly relating to water;
- State-wide water issues including the California Water Action Plan, California Water Fix, and issues under consideration before the State Water Resources Control Board;
- Project delivery methods including Public Private Partnerships and Design Build;
- The principles and practices of planning, design, and construction for water utility capital projects;
- The complexity of the rate setting process on both the operations and finance sides;
- Social, political, and environmental issues influencing and affecting the organizational climate, including employees and the surrounding community;
- The principles and practices of working in a labor union environment with collective bargaining; and
- An understanding of ISO standards and improvement process to support the organization’s ongoing efforts for improvements and compliance.
The ideal candidate must be able to:
- Evaluate, monitor, and lead service improvements designed to facilitate organizational unity and the effective and efficient delivery of services;
- Initiate, develop, and implement goals, objectives, policies, procedures, work standards, and internal controls;
- Balance conflicting objectives and policies; diplomatically identify, negotiate and administer effective resolutions;
- Select, motivate, supervise, and constructively evaluate managers and staff;
- Establish and maintain cooperative and effective working relationships with a variety of employee organizations, local, state, and federal legislative representatives, District staff and the general public;
- Maintain and exhibit discretion and integrity when handling sensitive information;
- Communicate effectively including strong written and oral communication skills;
- Provide effective leadership in a diversely staffed organization, consistent with executive direction and agency principles and values;
- Represent the District in the community including public speaking and engagements;
- Collaborate on a regional level with other agencies and professional associations to deliver successful outcomes; and
- Manage complex projects involving multi-teams and requiring coordination and collaboration with external agencies and high level executive managers.
Finally, the selected candidate will be a confident leader and manager with strong interpersonal and staff relationships skills. Candidate must be a good listener and possess energy and enthusiasm. This person must be politically savvy, open to the ideas of others, flexible, able to think outside the “box,” create partnerships, build consensus, and bring harmony and cohesion to the various interests of the District. The selected candidate must be fair in dealing with issues and people and possess professional and personal integrity, high moral standards, and strong ethics. Candidate must also be flexible to adapt to the changing workforce environment and engage staff in developing skills and attributes for future leadership roles. Other attributes include the ability to command and earn respect throughout all levels of the organization and in the community, be a team player with a “can do” attitude, and facilitate and resolve a variety of complex issues and challenges.
The salary for the Chief Operating Officer is $180,024.00 – 256,526.40 annually; placement within this range will be dependent upon qualifications. The District also provides an excellent comprehensive benefits package including a defined benefit retirement plan; medical, dental, and vision insurance; paid time off; a flexible spending account; and an employee assistance program. It is the policy of the District that Unclassified employees are employed at the will of the CEO/Appointing Authority.
Following the closing date, resumes will be screened according to the qualifications outlined above. A select group of candidates will be asked to provide references once it is anticipated that they may be recommended as finalists. References will be contacted only following candidate approval. Finalist interviews will be held with the Santa Clara Valley Water District. Candidates will be advised of the status of the recruitment following selection of the Chief Operating Officer of Water Utility Enterprise.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call Valerie Phillips at: (916) 784-9080