The Turlock Irrigation District Board of Directors bid a fond farewell to General Manager Larry Weis on Tuesday, recognizing Weis for his 10 years of service.
“With all stories, there’s always an ending and today’s the last chapter for Larry Weis and TID,” said TID Board President Rob Santos.
Weis accepted a position as general manager of Austin Energy in Austin, Texas on July 22. His final day with the district will be Aug. 31, but Tuesday was his final board meeting.
During his tenure with the District, Weis oversaw the acquisition of the Westside service area and the construction of the 250 megawatt Walnut Energy Center power plant. Weis also led the district into renewable energy, orchestrating the 136 megawatt Tuolumne Wind Project in Klickitat County, Wash., and the largest fuel cell in the State of California, built in conjunction with the City of Turlock wastewater treatment plant.
A board resolution recognized Weis as, “a progressive leader and true gentleman in the local, regional and state water and energy communities.”
“It’s been an honor to serve this community, the customers, public power and water, and work with such great board members,” Weis said upon receiving the framed resolution.
Weis also commended the “great” employees and tradition of the TID, as well as a “talented” management team.
Weis will be replaced, in the short term, by Interim General Manager Casey Hashimoto. Hashimoto has served as assistant general manager of Electrical Engineering and Operations since 2001, and has been with the district for 25 years.
A search committee, helmed by TID Board members Ron Macedo and Charles Fernandes, has already begun the process of finding a permanent replacement for Weis.
Despite Tuesday being Weis’ final TID Board meeting – and his last Tuesday morning board meeting period after 20 years at two different utilities, totaling more than 900 meetings – Weis offered one last project to staff before hitting the road. At his direction, staff will investigate the electrical costs of operating irrigation water pumps, possibly looking into doing most pumping in off-peak times.
It’s attention to detail like this that earned Weis the deep appreciation and sincere thanks voiced by board members in their resolution.
“It’s with a heavy heart I leave, but I think I leave the utility in great shape,” Weis said. “Whoever runs it after me, hold on to the wheel, don’t put it in a ditch, or I’ll be back.”
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