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Jim Bewley, who has been manager of the award-winning South Bayside System Authority (SBSA) wastewater treatment facility since July of 1982 and affiliated with the plant since its inception, is stepping down as manager effective June 30.
Bewley is one of the longest serving managers of a city or district in San Mateo County.
He will stay on as part of SBSA’s succession and training program until at least spring of 2006 in a role advising the Commission, supporting the acting managers, and managing capital projects like a $3 million outfall repair and construction of recycled water facilities.
Bewley began his affiliation with what would become SBSA in 1974, when he joined the then San Carlos-Belmont treatment facility which was located where the Burger King Restaurant is now located on the frontage road near San Carlos Airport. Previously he had worked in Sunnyvale as a chemist and in Richmond as a plant operator.
San Carlos and Belmont were joined by Redwood City and the West Bay Sanitary District in forming SBSA as a mutually-owned wastewater facility for the entities. Bewley was appointed interim superintendent for the new agency and served in that capacity overseeing SBSA’s construction from 1977 to 1982. When the plant opened in 1982, the newly-formed SBSA Commission named him manager.
During his management, SBSA twice was named Wastewater Treatment Plant of the Year by the California Water Environment Association (CWEA) – in 1996 and 2001.
Bewley has been active in industry associations, including president of the California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA) in 1998-99 and chair of Tri-Tac, a technical advisory committee on state and federal regulatory issues affecting public owned wastewater facilities. Tri-Tac members include CASA, the League of California Cities and CWEA.
After his advisory role with SBSA concludes in spring or summer 2006, Bewley plans to work part-time as a troubleshooter and adviser in the wastewater industry. He and his wife, Sue, have two married adult daughters, and have homes in San Francisco and Lake Tahoe. An avid boater, Bewley plans to spend more time aboard his 35-foot sailboat foot he keeps at the Richmond Marina.
Three SBSA managers who each have been with SBSA for 20 years or more will each serve three months as acting manager – Robert Donaldson, the operations manager; Ken Kaufman, technical services manager; and V. Gary Storms, maintenance manager.
SBSA’s succession planning program has been going on for nearly two years. The Commission is hiring a firm to assist it in the selection of a new manager, and will solicit candidates form inside and outside SBSA.