MEUW Weekly :: May 21, 2019

Board of Directors adopts long-term Strategic Plan: At the association’s Annual Business Meeting in Delavan on May 17, members of MEUW’s Board of Directors voted unanimously to adopt a long-term plan to guide the MEUW’s activities and priorities over the next 10 years.

Dubbed as MEUW@100, the plan builds on the work of the ENERGY Project launched in early 2018 and highlights four key strategies to help MEUW achieve its mission to strengthen and unify community-owned utilities. Those strategies are:

  • Strengthen member engagement
  • Solidify relationships with key stakeholders
  • Maintain high-quality programs and a talented team of professionals
  • Focus on the future

A more complete version of the plan can be found here. MEUW members can expect to receive regular updates on the plan in coming months and years.

Look for a full report on the new Strategic Plan as well as highlights from the 90th Annual Conference in the June edition of Live Lines to be published June 4. 

Transitions impact MEUW Executive Committee:  John Murphy, Utilities Director for the City of Elkhorn, is now President of MEUW’s Board of Directors, following transitions that occurred at the association’s Annual Business Meeting held May 17 in Delavan. Brian Knapp of Shawano is now First Vice President. George Morrissey of Cuba City has joined the Executive Committee as Second Vice President. Paul Hermanson of Lake Mills is now Past President. Tim Herlitzka of Waunakee continues as Secretary-Treasurer.

Four individuals – Randy Jaeckels (New Holstein), Nilaksh Kothari (Manitowoc), Lonnie Pichler (Kaukauna) and Randy Posthuma (Waupun) – were recognized at the meeting as each of them leaves MEUW’s Board after many years of service. 

Newcomers join MEUW Board: MEUW members in odd-numbered districts recently voted to fill seats on the MEUW Board of Directors. Jared Oosterhouse, Finance Director for Waupun Utilities was elected as the Director for District 7. Todd Tessmann, Utility Director for Hustisford Utilities, was elected to the Alternate Director seat for District 7. Other Directors and Alternate Directors in Districts 1, 3, 5 and 9 were re-elected to new two-year terms.

In addition, MEUW Board President John Murphy has appointed two individuals to fill At-Large seats on the Board. Nicolas Kumm, General Manager of Marshfield Utilities, accepted a two-year appointment. Jill Weiss, Director of Stoughton Utilities, is joining the Board to fill a one-year appointment. 

For a complete list of MEUW’s 2019-20 Board of Directors, click here.

Changes affect Safety and Education Committee:  As part of a planned succession, George Morrissey, Director of Public Works in Cuba City, is now Chair of MEUW’s Safety and Education (S&E) Committee, succeeding Lonnie Pichler of Kaukauna, who will continue to serve as a member of the Committee. Meanwhile, Nicolas Kumm of Marshfield has resigned his seat, making way for John McLain, Assistant Electric Superintendent at Waunakee Utilities, who has been appointed to fill the vacancy.

MEUW files comments in PSC’s electric vehicle docket: In late February, the Public Service Commission opened an “investigation” of electric vehicles (EVs) and their associated infrastructure. Specifically, the PSC is gathering input to understand more about customer expectations, policies and standards for electric vehicle infrastructure and the impact EVs will have on the electric grid and how differing state regulations might affect competition.

MEUW filed comments in the matter, noting, “Municipal electric utilities across Wisconsin support efforts to promote EV infrastructure and the increased use of electricity for transportation purposes.” MEUW encouraged the PSC to carefully review issues associated with third-party ownership of EV infrastructure. The association’s comments can be found here.  The PSC issued a request for comments in early April, indicating it intends to issue a draft report of the responses received from utilities and other interested stakeholders. A series of workshops or conferences, as well as subsequent requests for comment, may be planned at a future date. 

New ad hoc committee formed to explore small cell wireless “toolkit”: The MEUW-sponsored 5G Forum held in early April has prompted the formation of a new ad hoc committee to enable municipal electric utilities to take an organized and common method working with telecommunications providers seeking to deploy small cell wireless technologies in Wisconsin. A handful of Board members stepped forward to provide insights and help to develop guidelines and model agreements that will eventually be made available to all MEUW members for the purpose of coordinating a consistent approach. Others who may be interested in participating on the ad hoc committee are asked to contact Executive Director Tim Heinrich. The committee is expected to hold its kick-off meeting sometime this summer. 

Sign up now for upcoming Management Training Program:  Effective skills for leadership and team building is the subject of the next session in MEUW’s Management Training Program – scheduled for Wednesday, June 5, in Marshfield.

The day-long session will explore the foundation of successful leadership, including a deep dive into the dynamics of leadership and how individuals can develop their team members regardless of where they are on their professional paths. For more information or to register, click here.

Member News: Cumberland Municipal Utilities Commissioners have named Dean Bergstrom as CMU’s General Manager. Dean has served as Interim GM for the past year, following the passing of long-time GM Charles “Chuck” Christensen in May 2018. Congratulations, Dean!