Pfeifer: Temporary management change at Johnson Utilities long overdue

It’s no secret that Johnson Utilities has serious problems that point directly to poor management practices.

Some have questioned a decision to appoint EPCOR as the interim new managers of Johnson Utilities.  In my opinion this decision is not only smart but could be the only way Johnson Utility customers can get the quality of water and service they expect and pay for.

With an experienced team overseeing management of Johnson Utilities, the accountability to its customers will suddenly change and shortages and over-spending can be stopped.

New management will have the opportunity to identify misbehavior and wasted spending as well as potential areas where they can be more cost-effective.

EPCOR managers will be able to look at the cost structures and start improving the infrastructure. They can look at new projects to clean up the dirty water, improve the water pressure and prevent sewage spills. They will be able to speed up approval processes, look into new planning and design, and structuring contracts to encourage time and cost savings.

It is obvious the current systems need to be upgraded. Johnson Utilities has failed miserably and lacks the necessary specialized skills, capital and ability to deliver the services its customers expect.

This temporary management change is long overdue and can only lead to improved benefits for all Johnson Utility customers.

It is also reassuring the towns of Queen Creek and Florence are committed to working with EPCOR to help solve this regional health and safety issue.

I do have one last suggestion for EPCOR to consider while they are interim manager: form a planning committee that is responsible not only for prioritizing capital projects, but also for forecasting maintenance costs and engaging citizens in the decision-making process.

Merle Pfeifer
Encanterra resident

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