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Financial management is a critical component of a utility, and we have been fortunate to attract talented people to carry out this important function. Thanks to their focus and attention, our bond ratings from Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch remained stable in 2017. 


As we think about the future, we recognize that one of our critical responsibilities is protecting the resources we use to provide services. We rely on many different methods for achieving that; one of our best tools is conservation. 


Our energy conservation team is on the cusp of celebrating a half-a-billion kilowatt hours saved through our programs. Each time our customers use less electricity, we delay the need to build more resources. The electricity provided by Tacoma Power is almost entirely carbon free, and we want it to stay that way. 


Tacoma Water completed its 10-year water conservation plan in 2017, which includes a goal to reduce peak water use by 6.65% over the next 10 years. Computer modeling indicates the utility will have an abundant water supply for the next 50 years and beyond, and encouraging smart water use will support that.


A utility like ours plays many roles in the community. We are more than a service provider. We are a community partner with roots that run deep. We encourage our leaders to participate on local boards; we regularly attend Neighborhood Council meetings in Tacoma; we sponsor events in the community that help those most in need and that help spread our important messaging.

Through Community Connection, a program that strengthens the relationship between our workforce and the communities we serve, in 2017 our employees gave big to local nonprofits: $250,000 in donations and nearly 2,300 volunteer hours. The program has earned scores of local, state and national awards because of its significant impact on people’s lives.


Our employees are the best asset we have for paving a smooth and stable road. It is up to the leaders of Tacoma Public Utilities to create an environment that helps our employees thrive. In 2017, we set two key priorities that will improve our working environment – safety and leadership.

Given the nature of our work, safety is one of the most important aspects of our organization. In 2017, we identified opportunities to create a Tacoma Public Utilities safety initiative with a goal to create a culture of safety awareness for every employee – from those working in the field to those sitting at desks. In 2018, we will conduct a safety survey and build a plan for accomplishing our goal.


Our management team also agreed to commit to a leadership development program in 2017 that will provide consistent expectations for supervisors and managers throughout the organization.  Next year, more than 300 managers, supervisors and leads will participate in the training and learn similar language, principles and methods. I believe it will have a positive impact on our employees and how they feel about coming to work every day. 


As we look toward the future, we know there will be changes. The Public Utility Board will select a new director. We will see a slew of retirements. We will adapt to changing regulations, politics and expectations. 


And we will rise to the occasion. I have no doubt the legacy of this organization through the inevitable ebbs and flows will carry on as a protector and provider.


3628 South 35th Street  /  Tacoma WA 98409  /  253.502.8600​ 

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