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PAWSD picks new district manager

Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District has a new district manager.

After two searches, the PAWSD Board of Directors announced Tuesday the hiring of Edwin Winton to fill the position left vacant with Carrie Weiss’ resignation in the latter half of 2010. Shellie Peterson, assistant manager, has served as interim manager.

An initial search for a new district manager resulted in the job being offered to an applicant living in California, and a declined offer by the candidate left the PAWSD staff and board of directors with the need to carry out another search. The second candidate search was performed with a slightly modified set of criteria.

In introducing the district’s choice for manager, Director Jan Clinkenbeard said all four finalists were well qualified.

“Our choice ... was just outstanding. He has extensive experience in water, wastewater and he has extensive experience in management,” Clinkenbeard said. “He really filled every square we were looking for.”

According to Winton’s resume, he served in the U.S. Air Force for 20 years in civil engineering. Following his time in the USAF, Winton served as the Public Works department head for the City of South Sioux City in Nebraska, where he oversaw the office, maintenance and operations of two water plants, a water distribution system, wastewater collection and pumping facilities, and storm water collection, among other duties.

Most recently, Winton worked for 10 years for the City of Topeka, Kan., where he served as utilities/transportation special projects coordinator, transportation operations superintendent, deputy emergency manager and water division infrastructure manager.

Clinkenbeard said Winton has worked in five states and four countries, as well as in every field of management.

Winton has associate degrees in general studies and ecological controls and a bachelor’s of science in vocational education instruction and curriculum course development, as well as having a variety of special trainings.

“He has a lot of background and experience in many areas of management,” said Director Windsor Chacey, adding, “He’s quite the person for evaluating staff and training and putting together good teams, so this is one thing we were looking at, too.”

Clinkenbeard added an additional bit of trivia about Winton at the meeting — he has two brothers who have served in water and wastewater services, one of whom is now retired.

“I think the district will be happy with this selection, and the community, too,” said board Chair Steve Hartvigsen.

Winton will relocate to Pagosa Springs from Topeka and is expected to begin work March 14.

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