is early February 2014 as I write this Commissioner
Corner article and we are just off the heels of a
great Super Bowl victory by the Seahawks and an
unexpected weekend snowstorm that tangled traffic
for many hours. The hilly street in front of my
house is exceptionally treacherous when it snows.
Every time we have snow it turns our street into a
slippery parking lot. The result is predictable- a
lot of damaged cars and frustrated drivers. It still
surprises me to see how many of our neighbors
attempt to drive unprepared for the conditions.
Imagine a Super Bowl team that wasn’t prepared for
Super Bowl Sunday. Losing the big game would be
almost a certainty. The same focus on preparation
is important in the water and sewer utility
business. With this in mind, your Lakehaven team,
like our victorious Seahawks, is well prepared to
win the battle from the field to the main office!
We are constantly looking for new ways to become
more efficient. One project that comes to mind is
the Lakota Treatment Plant Diffuser project.
Teaming with Puget Sound Energy and the Washington
State Department of Commerce, the District acquired
two grants totaling about $500,000 to help offset
the $1.4 million dollar cost of the project. Coupled
with a projected 30% operational efficiency
improvement, the cost savings are good evidence that
Lakehaven staff continues to slay the cost dragon in
order to ensure the best possible rates!
Securing grants and low interest loans is but one
part of the process. It starts with leadership and
sound fiscal policies. Each year Lakehaven, like all
agencies and municipal corporations in the state,
undergoes an audit by the State of Washington’s
Office of the State Auditor. In the years I’ve been
a Commissioner (and many before that), I am proud to
say that Lakehaven has been free of audit findings.
What does “free of findings” mean? It simply means
our financial house is in order, we have complied
with state laws and our internal controls are
adequate to safeguard public assets. As a result of
this audit history and sound financial reserves, we
retain an ability to achieve superior credit ratings
when we go to the bond market. Moody’s recently
gave the District the state’s highest rating for a
water/sewer district. Superior credit ratings allow
us to get the best loan rates when we need to borrow
I am proud of our Lakehaven team! Whether it’s in
the field or in the office, our employees come to
work every day knowing that their mission is to make
the systems that are so important to the lives of
those in our community work as efficiently as
possible. Like the Seahawks, our staff is “Number
If you are out and about and happen to see our
trucks, field workers, or if you simply stop by our
office to apply for a permit or to pay your bill,
please feel free to thank the dedicated staff you
meet. They happily serve you and all the people and
businesses we are pleased to call “our customers”.
Next time you turn on the faucet or flush your
toilet, please remember that about a hundred
dedicated Lakehaven team members are behind the
scenes every day to make that possible!