Archive for March, 2019

2019 Wave Awards Honored Achievement in the Industry

Posted on: March 29th, 2019 by eric

AEA is proud to have recognized members during the annual recognition luncheon at the utility management conference in March of 2019. Awards included:

Outstanding Commissioner, Dr. Robert A. Bartolini of Stony Brook Regional Sewerage Authority and Ted Light of Middlesex County Utilities Authority. Outstanding Associate Member John Napolitano, Esq. of Cleary Giacobbe Alfieri Jacobs, LLC. For Individual Wave Achievement, Kyle Arnold of North Hudson Sewerage Authority, and Susan DuBey of Bayshore Regional Sewerage Authority.

Also honored Up And Comer Award winner Apryl Roach of Franklin Township Sewerage Authority, Life Member Award Kevin Aiello of Middlesex County Utilities Authority, and Sid Weiss, Esq. of Southeast Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority.

Winning for Best Management Practices was the  Atlantic County Utilities Authority, the Hanover Sewerage Authority, North Hudson Sewerage Authority, and Toms River Municipal Utilities Authority. Winning an Energy Savers award was Ocean County Utilities Authority and Willingboro Municipal Utilities Authority, while winning a Forward Thinking award was Buena Borough Municipal Utilities Authority, Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission, and Western Monmouth Utilities Authority. Finally, recognized for their efforts in Public Education was Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority.

In addition, we offer out Congratulations to the 2018 EPDA Cohort:

  • Thomas Bongiovanni, Two Bridges SA
  • Natalie Chesko, South Monmouth RSA
  • Yolanda Cox, Plainfield MUA
  • Paul Dobson, Stony Brook RSA
  • James Higgins, Evesham MUA
  • Don Hilty, Stony Brook RSA
  • Javier Irizarry, Stony Brook RSA
  • Janette Kessler, Atlantic County UA
  • Michael Mullen, Evesham MUA
  • Hossein (Mack) Rahimi, Stony Brook RSA
  • Jennifer Rivera, Pemberton Township MUA
  • Frank Rockwell, South Monmouth RSA

Training of Decision-makers: An Idea Whose Time has Come?

Posted on: March 25th, 2019 by eric

By AEA President Dave Harpell

In November of 2016, Peggy Gallos, AEA executive director, Pam Carolan, executive director of Mount Laurel Township MUA, and I testified before the Joint Legislative Task Force on Drinking Water. Among our recommendations was this: “In contrast, appointed planning board and elected board of education members are required to have a baseline orientation to help them understand their vital role in their respective spheres. Similar requirements for appointed and elected county, authority and municipal officials would be useful. Such new legislation could be modeled on existing requirements for planning board and board of education members – that within the first year of taking office or beginning an appointed term, local officials who will be making decisions about water and sewer funds must attend an orientation to introduce them to the basics of operations and best management practices.”

We made this recommendation because we know that better decisions are more likely to come from leaders who understand their systems and organizations.

I am pleased to say that the final report issued by the task force in 2018 contained this recommendation. More specifically, it stated that, “the Legislature should enact legislation requiring elected and appointed officials who make decisions about water infrastructure to receive standardized education about basic system operations, finance, regulation, and best management practices in their first term. “

At the beginning of the 218th Legislative Session, Assemblyman John McKeon and Senator Linda Greenstein, who had co-chaired the task force, introduced bills  (A3500/S1952) that would require training. In addition, a NJDEP official recently said the Department was considering adding training requirements to the regulations implementing the Water Quality Accountability Act.

This is one example illustrating both the value of speaking up and the value of AEA. Comments on legislation or regulations, participating in panels and conferences, and taking part in our state’s dialogue about public policy matters makes a difference. A new idea is like a pebble tossed into the water. It moves out to a wider audience. Once out there, a new idea can be taken up by others. It can and does have an impact. It can make its way into high-profile reports, into proposed legislation, or into regulations.

AEA is the platform from which we can participate and make our voice heard. I want to thank each member –authority, municipal member, associate or affiliate—that has recommitted this year to membership in AEA. When we work together through AEA, we can help our members be heard.