Almy, Maney will seek spots on LCWD board

Feb 7, 2019 by

Published February 6, 2019

By DAN TOMASELLO

LYNNFIELD — With the Lynnfield Center Water District (LCWD) Board of Water Commissioners entering a transitional period, two ratepayers have come forward and are looking to serve on the board.

Wymon Way resident Rob Almy and Carol Ann Road resident Joe Maney recently expressed interest in running for an open seat on the LCWD board that will be filled at the Feb. 25 special district meeting. 

In an interview with the Villager, Maney said he spoke with Almy about the race last week and said he intends to withdraw. But Maney still intends to run for another open seat on the Board of Water Commissioners in the spring.

“Rob is the right person to serve on the board at this time,” said Maney. “I have decided to withdraw my name and I am planning on running for one of the seats in April.”

With no other candidates currently scheduled to appear on the LCWD’s ballot, Almy will be succeeding retired LCWD Superintendent/Water Commissioner Ken Burnham. Burnham retired as superintendent and resigned as a water commissioner on Jan. 2.

“I decided to run because there is an open position on the board, I have the experience and I have the time to give the district the service that it needs,” said Almy in an interview with the Villager.

Almy stated in his resume that he has “40 years of experience managing coastal dependent and water-related programs.” His areas of expertise include groundwater, integrated regional water management, stormwater pollution, water conservation, environmental reviews and program development.

According to Almy’s resume, he worked as the manager of the Santa Barbara County Water Agency from 1990 through 2008.

“The most important part of that experience included working with the other elected officials and other government agencies,” said Almy. “I was responsible for evaluating groundwater resources. We developed an award-winning water conservation program.”

Almy relocated to Massachusetts around 2011. He has worked as the senior project manager for Weston and Sampson since 2013. He served as a project manager for GEI Consultants from 2010-2013. He was the senior environmental specialist for SAIC Incorporated from 2008-2009.

The Wymon Way resident also served as the deputy director of the Santa Barbara County Energy Division’s planning department from 1983-1990. He worked as a project hydrogeologist for Dames and Moore from 1981-1983. He worked as a hydrogeologist for Oregon’s Water Resource Department from 1977-1981.

Almy earned his master’s of science in geology from the University of Western Washington in 1977. He received a bachelor of arts in geology and a minor in chemistry from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1973.

Since the LCWD’s discolored water issues started bumbling to the surface, Almy has been attending water commissioner meetings on a regular basis. He crafted three citizens’ petitions for the Dec. 10 special district that included authorizing ratepayers to approve $200,000 for a study on iron and manganese in the wake of residents living near the North Reading line experiencing discolored water problems. He also crafted articles that sought to allocate $250,000 for a supplemental water supply study and another would have created an independent search committee tasked with finding the district’s next water superintendent. LCWD attorney Chris Casey refused to let the search committee article appear on the warrant because he claimed it violated the district’s enabling act.

During the Dec. 10 special district meeting, ratepayers rejected Almy’s iron and manganese article because a similar study undertaken by the district’s engineering firm, CDM Smith, was close to being completed. Almy urged ratepayers to indefinitely postpone the water study article he submitted because Russet Lane resident Stephanie Rauseo crafted a similar article.

Almy said he would be a positive addition to the Board of Water Commissioners.

“The district has a lot of ongoing work to serve its customers and it’s important the good work the district does continues,” said Almy.

Joe Maney

Maney will be looking to succeed either current LCWD Board of Water Commissioners Chairwoman Connie Leccese or Water Commissioner Richard Lamusta in April.

Leccese announced last week she intends to resign from the board on March 31. Lamusta has yet to announce whether he will be running for re-election.

In the wake of Leccese’s resignation, the water commissioners have scheduled a special district meeting in order to fill the remaining two years of the outgoing chairwoman’s term, which will take place on Monday, April 1, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the Lynnfield Middle School cafeteria. The special district meeting will be held before the annual special district meeting that commences that same night. Prospective candidates must submit a letter of intent to the LCWD by Friday, March 1.

Maney said he decided to run for water commissioner because he is concerned about the commissioners’ lack of transparency.

“The current board has worked for the former superintendent and not the ratepayers,” said Maney. “The next couple of years are going to tell a lot about which direction the district is headed.”

Maney also felt compelled to run in the wake of ratepayers experiencing discolored water in their homes.

“I live near Phillips Road and I have great water,” said Maney. “My sister saw an injustice with the previous youth football organization and decided to do something about it. As a lifelong resident, I feel compelled to help the ratepayers who have had discolored water.”

Maney has worked as a special education teacher for the SEEM Collaborative for the past 10 years. He has been the town’s part-time fields’ director for several years.

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