Los Angeles Department of Water and Power chief operating officer David Wright was appointed the agency’s interim general manager Tuesday by the Board of Water and Power Commissioners. He replaces Marcie Edwards, who announced her resignation earlier this month.
Wright, 56, becomes the department’s eighth general manager during the last 10 years. In confirming Edwards’ departure, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti simultaneously announced he was nominating Wright to succeed her as interim general manager. Tuesday’s commission vote is the first formal confirmation required but Wright must still be confirmed by the Los Angeles City Council.
As interim general manager, Wright must grapple with residual customer dissatisfaction after a billing fiasco three years ago, as well as an aging system of water pipes that require billions of dollars in constant upgrades. Also, Los Angeles voters in November will decide on a ballot measure to give the department more autonomy in major decisions, including hiring and firing of key personnel.
“I will do everything I can to make LADWP a utility that not only focuses on infrastructure, reliability and sustainability, but that strongly focuses on improving service levels to our customers,” Wright said in a statement. “It’s important that the LADWP makes it easy to do business with us by working better and more efficiently for our customers than ever before.”
Wright joined the DWP nearly two years ago as assistant general manager of the power system. He had previously served 10 years as general manager of the city of Riverside’s Public Utilities and before that as chief financial officer for the Las Vegas Valley Water District. He had also served as Riverside’s city controller.
Public policy and energy reporter Howard Fine can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @howardafine.
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