The Turlock Irrigation District (TID) and Austin City Manager Marc Ott announced today that TID General Manager/CEO Larry Weis has accepted the position as the General Manager for Austin Energy electric utility in Texas.
The announcements come following a trip to California, where Austin City Manager Ott and a delegation of Austin city staff and Austin community members interviewed business leaders, environmental advocates, staff members and Board members of the Turlock Irrigation District, where Weis is currently the top executive.
“It was the unanimous feeling of the group that Larry is not only qualified to lead Austin Energy, but is an ideal candidate to lead the utility through the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. He clearly has the heart, passion and intellect to honor and foster the innovative spirit that has come to define Austin Energy,” said Ott.
“We need a creative thinker that clearly values what it means to be the best managed public utility in the country, someone with a track record of embracing challenges, pressing for innovation, offering full transparency and welcoming involvement from the community. We heard all of those things about Larry during our meetings last week.”
“The District has seen a decade of growth and development under Larry’s leadership, and he will be missed,” said Rob Santos, TID Board President.
Weis brings 29 years of electrical industry experience, including his last 10 years with TID, to the top job at Austin Energy. TID has been in the retail electric business since 1923 and is one of the 30 largest public power utilities in the United States, serving more than 600,000 residents with a $460 million budget, and has been a leader in meeting state-mandated renewable energy goals. The utility currently supplies 28% of its annual energy requirements from renewable resources, while maintaining one of the lowest rates in the state. TID also serves 5,800 irrigation customers covering approximately 150,000 acres of farmland.
Austin Energy currently serves more than 900,000 residents with a total budget of $1.3 billion. The utility provides about 10% of its energy needs from renewable resources, with a goal of increasing that amount to 35% by 2020. In addition to leading the utility toward that renewable energy goal, Weis will take the helm as Austin Energy begins its first rate study in 16 years.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to lead a utility that’s so well-known as a leader and innovator in our field. Beyond that, I’m excited to become a part of a community that’s proven to be so highly passionate and engaged about the work that we do,” said Weis. “I’ve been impressed with the City leaders I’ve met, and believe that – as the Austin community gets to know me – they’ll be assured that Austin Energy is in good hands.”
Weis’ last day with the District will be August 31.
Weis is expected to take leadership of Austin Energy on September 27 at an annual salary of $285,000, surpassing his predecessor Roger Duncan who was paid an annual salary of $216,756.80 with a phone allowance of $105/month and City contributed executive deferred compensation of $307.70 per pay period (twice a month).
TID General Manager Larry Weis is currently paid $277,188 while also receiving phone allowance of $100/month and vehicle allowance of $700/month.
The TID Board of Directors will begin the replacement process of the TID GM as they meet on Tuesday, July 27, 2010 to consider the matter of an interim general manager to assume the duties of TID General Manager.