I’m Ron Ringen, a 40 year resident of Tuolumne County and a current member of the Board of Directors of Tuolumne Utilities District. I’m the founder and owner of a local home inspection business, served as a US Marine from 1964 through 1970, and like you, I’m a TUD ratepayer (not all TUD Board members are!).
My primary focus while serving on the TUD Board has been assuring that we (TUD) accomplish several things:
- Always do what is in the best interest of our current customers/ratepayers, and,
- Identify those future management and staff actions that will assure that TUD is self-reliant and sustainable for the long term. I also strive to ensure that TUD’s projects and activities result in enhancements to the Tuolumne County community as a whole.
- Maintain water and sewer rates as low as possible while maintaining safe and reliable service
- Continue the search for grant money offerings to pay for badly needed infrastructure repairs and replacement so that they are not funded with TUD customer/ratepayer dollars
- Get fire water draft points installed along the ditch system for fire protection and suppression
As you may be aware, our county is not unique with declining population, declining revenue, and increasing costs and regulatory mandates on our rural uses of water, yet the State’s conservation mandate is squeezing us as if we were an urban municipality with no thought about the combined threats of catastrophic fire and horrendous tree mortality that we face here in our area. Be assured that a vote for me will continue the fight for local control and responsible use of the water that originates in our county!!
Now more than ever, TUD needs strong, experienced leadership. I have dedicated an enormous amount of my personal time to fully understanding the local water and sewer legacy issues, and how to keep water affordable for our rural county uses. During my many years of attending nearly all of the TUD Board meetings as a ratepayer- observer, and also in my appointed and elected Director roles, plus attending countless county water advisory and natural resources committee meetings, I have learned how our watershed health has a direct relationship to the quality and quantity of our water, as well as how it affects our local economy and quality of life. This understanding and knowledge has allowed me to be an effective leader and strong advocate for badly needed projects such as the creation of fire water draft points along the ditch system to assure that firefighters will have enough water to protect our homes and businesses in the event of a catastrophic wildfire. In early 2012, I was the first-ever (so far as I’m aware) TUD Board Director to speak up and request a complete accounting of TUD’s expenditures for the prior month. At my insistence, this has now become the normal mode of operation: TUD’s Board does not vote to approve/disapprove expenses until a detailed accounting has been provided to the Board members and all questions and requests for clarification have been answered. Also, I was the one who arranged for a one on one meeting with two members of the Sierra/Nevada Conservancy to explain our county’s huge reliance on the 160 plus year old ditch and wooden flume water conveyance system and its major vulnerabilities to fire and falling (beetle killed) trees. This meeting ultimately resulted in the Sierra/Nevada Conservancy formulating a plan to provide TUD a $500,000 Grant to thin the brush and trees in the area along the flume system to minimize the chance of wildfire and/or falling tree damage to the flume water delivery system.
In summary, our community deserves TUD Board members who have in-depth knowledge and understanding of our water situation, are absolutely passionate about it, and are 100% accountable to the ratepayers. Your vote for Ron Ringen will be an excellent investment in our water!
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