By Vernon Robison
Moapa Valley Progress
Last month the Moapa Valley Water District (MVWD) board of directors advanced Interim General Manager Joe Davis to the position of the General Manager of the district. This came about six months after Davis had received the appointment as Interim General Manager.
“We have all been very impressed with Joe,” said MVWD Board Chairman Ken Staton. “He has stepped in to a difficult situation and done a wonderful job.”
Davis was appointed as Interim General Manager immediately after a seven month period that the district was without a General Manager. In April of 2011, the MVWD board called for the resignation of former General Manager Brad Huza.
“It was not an easy first few months,” Staton said. “But he has worked together with support from the staff and has really helped us out considerably.”
Davis has worked for the district for 28 years. He was hired in 1984, just out of high school, as a three month employee to help with a stand-pipe installation project.
“Joe really is a unique success story,” said Staton. “He started out at the district as just a temp worker right out of high school and he has just worked his way up.”
Staton said that he has been impressed with the high regard that the rest of the MVWD staff had for Davis.
“Joe has a lot of respect from the rest of the employees at the district,” Staton said. “They genuinely love Joe and they are thrilled to work for him and with him. That says a lot I think.”
In an interview, Davis said that he has been pleased with the direction the district has gone in the past several months. But a largely new board has kept him busy.
During the past year, the board has made several significant changes to the MVWD policies in an attempt to make them more customer friendly, Davis said. These policies include changing the way that late fees compound on customer bills, changing the rate code for households with more than one residence sharing a single meter and ceasing the practice of removing meters from homes where the overdue water bills became too high.
Davis said that one of the biggest parts of the job has been to get fully up to speed on the complexities of 15 years of regional water agreements.
“Some of these contracts go back to 1997,” said Davis. “So I’ve been spending a lot of time familiarizing myself with all the details and nuances of those contracts.”
“A lot of those agreements were made during a time when we were facing unprecedented growth in the valley,” Davis said. “We are in a completely different situation today and so you are having to look at what people were thinking when the agreements were made and try to reconcile them to our situation today. It’s a big job.”