Top ‘Gunn’: WaterWorks reviews candidates to replace GM

HARLINGEN — It’s going to take two managers to replace WaterWorks General Manager Darrell Gunn.

For about nine years, Gunn has served as general manager and engineer, after he left open the utility’s assistant general manager’s position.

Since announcing his retirement recently, Gunn has worked under contract to guide the utility through a smooth transition.

Now, utility board members are reviewing 14 candidates for the jobs of general manager and assistant general manager.

Board members are considering seven candidates for the general manager’s position, with requirements including 10 years of experience in management and engineering, with five years experience in the public sector.

The board is reviewing seven candidates for the assistant general manager’s job, with requirements including 10 years of engineering management experience.

“We got a lot with a lot of potential,” board Chairman Josh Fields said yesterday.

Fields said the board plans to interview top candidates before selecting finalists as early as April or May.

The board has not set salary ranges for the two postions, Fields said.

Since January, Gunn has worked under a one-year contract paying $100 an hour for as many as 20 hours a week.

Officials are working to complete work on a new sewer plant costing less than $20 million.

“That’s one of the projects I wanted to complete,” said Gunn, who drew a salary of $150,000 before his retirement.

Gunn said the plant, with a peak capacity of 30 million gallons a day, is projected to meet the city’s demands for 30 to 40 years.

The project has saved the utility millions of dollars.

In 2007, a national consultant estimated the construction of a sewer plant would cost $50 million, Gunn said.

Gunn said he retrofitted equipment to help cut costs.

“We got extremely competitive bids on materials,” Gunn said.

Gunn, who came to the utility as assistant general manager in 2004, took the job of general manager in 2008, after former General Manager Ron Thomas resigned. Thomas was making $109,988 at the time.

At the time, the utility had exhausted its cash reserve fund.

Under Gunn, WaterWorks has built a $20 million budget with reserves capable of operating the utility for 90 days.

Candidates for WaterWorks’ GM position

Scott Bundy

Richard Correa, P.E.

David Garza

Randal Jones

George Morales

Mark Yates CPA

A. Zehraoui

Candidates for WaterWorks’ Assistant GM position

Richard Correa, P.E.

Joseph Yaccarino, P.E.

Quang Nguyen, P.E.

Presaana Chebbi, P.E.

Jose Reyes, P.E.

Michael Wilson, P.E.

Maneer Umrani, P.E.