Meet West Valley Water Board Candidate Robert Bourland

Welcome to our individual interviews with Candidates running for local elections. All candidates were given the same questions and allowed the freedom to answer as they see fit. We did not alter any of the responses so you are hearing things directly from them.

In this interview we are introducing you to Robert Bourland. Mr. Bourland is a person we didn’t know a lot about and he was appointed to the West Valley Water Board by the Board of Supervisors to fill the appointed spot that Rafael Trujillo vacated after he was elected to city council. Mr. Bourland was the successful candidate and appointed to this position by the San Bernardino County Supervisors after an exhaustive search and interview process over a number of other potential candidates.

There are a couple of candidates that have an extensive background in providing utility services to this region and Robert Bourland is one of those candidates, enjoy.

First, I’d like to express my appreciation for bringing out the real issues the voters should be looking at and not the partisan political statements, the slander that’s been so freely flowing and the made-up promises that cannot be delivered unless appropriate due-diligence is done, contrary to some of the political propaganda being propagated.

 

1)      Tell us about yourself where did you grow up, go to school and work before?

  • I have lived in Rialto since 1964. I went to Morgan elementary, Frisbie Junior High, Eisenhower High, San Bernardino Valley College and California State San Bernardino. While attending college I worked full-time at Stater Brothers grocery stores. After obtaining my Bachelor’s degree I started my career at Southern California Edison as a meter reader, ultimately retiring as an Executive. Along with serving on the WVWD board, I currently serve on the Board of Directors at Anand-PAG LLC.
  • For a more detailed review of my extensive work experience please see my LinkedIn profile: www.linkedin.com/in/robertbourland

 

2) How does your past make you a good candidate for West Valley Water Board?

  • I have over 35 years of experience in the utility industry, including water, gas and electric. Prior to my retirement at SCE, I was responsible for the entire portfolio of applications at the company including Customer Service, Transmission & Distribution, Generation, Conservation, Technology etc. This is exactly the same work that West Valley Water District does, except that SCE was on a much larger scale. I KNOW this business, how to run it, fix it, make it more efficient which ultimately leads to safer, more reliable and the most affordable water possible.
  • At SCE I ran an organization of several hundred people and was responsible for budgets of well over $200. Million (about 10 times what the WVWD budget is)
  • I currently serve on the Board of Directors of Anand-PAG LLC, a mid-size technology company
  • I have previously served as Board President of the El Rancho Verde MAC committee
  • I have previously served on the Visitors Board of Claremont College

 

 

3)      Some of you are incumbents what have you learned since being elected or appointed that you didn’t know until you sat in the elected seat?

  • Overseeing a water district is very similar to overseeing any other utility which I have spent my last 35+ years doing very successfully.  I’ve been disappointed to learn that in dealing with elected officials and “wannabe” elected officials, they are willing to say things to garner votes, instead of doing what’s right for the district, employees and ultimately the rate payers.
  • My commitment is to always focus on the issues at-hand and deal with them keeping in mind the best interests of our constituents, employees and the water district. I will not be influenced by political inclinations or other outside influences.

 

 

4) How important is transparency to you?

  • Transparency in an organization builds trust amongst employees and our ratepayers. It is a critical success factor for the newly elected board to rebuild that trust that has eroded over the past several years. I will accept nothing less than full transparency as we work towards the success of our District.

 

5) Do you believe that partisan politics have a place within a water board seat?

  • Absolutely not! Decisions made by the WVWD board should be based entirely on the facts of the matter at hand to ensure safe, reliable and affordable water to our ratepayers. As opposed to the stated view of some of the candidates (per their campaign literature), I do not believe partisan politics should have any influence, at all, on the policies adopted by this board.
  • In regards to partisanship on the board, I think it’s important to note that I’m supported by both Josie Gonzales (D) and Janice Rutherford (R).

 

6) What is your impression of the communities freedom of speech?

  • Freedom of speech is everyone’s lawful right in our wonderful country and I fully support that. I also believe that we should self-impose some moral and ethical boundaries upon ourselves out of respect for one another and our diverse beliefs. Although to-date none of this has been targeted against me, I’m abhorred at some of the campaign literature mailed during this election. Candidates should focus on what they stand for and their value proposition, not putting out half-truths and disparaging remarks about others.

 

7) What are your thoughts on budget surpluses? Should they be a certain percentage of the overall budget or are they even important?

  • As a government entity, WVWD is a not-for-profit organization. The budgeting process is intended to anticipate all costs needed for normal operations as well as unexpected events. Because WVWD is a government agency, there is no “budget surplus” built into the budget. The budget will be “even” where the incoming revenue is equal to the expected expenditures for the upcoming year.
  • What some people inaccurately perceive to be a “surplus” are in fact essential items needed for the effective operations of the water district. Examples are:

o   Government mandated reserve policies to insure liquidity

o   Emergency funds for leaks, breaks, failures etc.

o   Contingencies for expected costs that might overrun anticipated costs

o   Ongoing liabilities such as bond covenants, pension liabilities, capital improvement projects

o   Capital improvements for projects to replace the miles of pipelines that are aged and are in dire need of replacement before catastrophic failure

o   Capital improvement projects to expand and insure our water services are not interrupted

  • My commitment is to insure that the costs to obtain our water, to purify our water, to deliver our water to our constituents will be the lowest possible, which will lead to the lowest possible rates to our customers.

 

List any and all contact info people can use to get a hold of you or learn more. Also please include a photo we can use for your article. If you have any video links you would like included please Include those as well.

 

Image

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: