WENATCHEE — New Chelan County PUD General Manager Steve Wright reported to work for his first day Tuesday with an immediate priority of getting to know employees and the community.
Wright, former chief at the Portland-based Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), said after presiding his first commission meeting Tuesday that he and former general manager, John Janney, had been communicating by phone and email for the past six weeks.
“John has done a great job keeping me informed. I’m deeply appreciative of the work he’s done here,” he said, adding that he and Janney continue to discuss the possibility of Janney’s staying on at the PUD in a different capacity.
Janney resigned the post in February to have more time for family and church. His last day is Sept. 15.
Wright, 55, said he has “some thoughts about things we need to be concerned about,” but declined to discuss them until he’s more immersed in his new job.
He told commissioners Tuesday that he “feels even better” about his decision to take the job after learning more over the last six weeks about the utility’s strong financials and financial outlook, its pro-hydropower lobbying work related to the Columbia River Treaty with Canada and successful conservation efforts.
Wright accepted the post in July. He comes to Wenatchee after a 32-year career with the BPA, an agency he headed from 2000 until his retirement early this year.
The BPA sells electricity from sources that include 31 federal dams in the Columbia River Basin. It operates about three-fourths of the high-voltage transmission in a service area that covers the Pacific Northwest, Idaho, and parts of Montana, California, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming.