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Board scheduled to appoint new general manager for Lower Valley Water District

The Lower Valley Water District Board of Directors is scheduled to take possible action on the vacated general manager position, according to agenda notes.

Acting Vice President Gerald Grijalva is listed as the man who could become the next general manager.

The vacancy comes after the former general manager, Jack Alayyan, was terminated by the board of directors after allegations of sexual harassment.

“We gave him the option to step-down and resign or face the consequences of the investigation,” Grijalva said.

Grijalva told KVIA he volunteered for the general manager position and said he was qualified for the job. “We are familiar with the contracts, water structure and the sewer system,” Grijalva said. “Through the years, we become experts on it, so it’s easy to have someone from the board.” The candidate said he’s been on the board since 2004.

Grijalva said he will resign from his position during the special meeting, Thursday night, before the district can make an offer.

“I’ve been told it’ll be a six month temporary position leading to a potential contract, if I do well,” he said.

The Lower Valley Water District serves around 14,000 to 17,000 people, Grijalva said. LVWD currently offers water, waste water and solid waste services to the residents in its service area.

The district said they are constantly applying for funding from local, state and federal agencies in an effort to construct an adequate water and wastewater system for the 210 square miles within the district boundaries, which lie east of the El Paso City Limits.

“I am worried we may be caught up in events, if we are not proactive in what we need to do for our infranstructure,” Grijalva said.

The city of Socorro and the community of San Elizario, the Town of Clint and El Paso County Sparks Addition, Sand Hills and El Paso County Colonias are all within the district’s boundaries. “The valley is growing by leaps and bounds,” Grijalva said.

The board of directors consists of five members, which will be reduced if Grijalva resigns Thursday night. They are elected by the District’s taxpaying residents every four years with staggered terms.

Although not yet appointed, Grijalva already has goals in mind, if he becomes the next general manager. “There is a ton we need to do,” he said, “We are in a desert, we need to look for water resources, recycling water from sewers and providing infrastructure for the whole valley and we need to accommodate growth.”

The special meeting is scheduled for Thursday night at 6:30 p.m.

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