CWEA Mark Pattison leaves his mark on Crestline Sanitation District
After 37 years as an employee with the Crestline Sanitation District, general manager and CWEA member Mark Pattison announced his retirement effective March 31. Pattison will be replaced by former operations manager and CWEA member Rick Dever. Dever was appointed as the new general manager at the district’s March 9 regular meeting.
In an interview with The Alpenhorn News, Pattison shared how he started his career in the wastewater field as a lab tech, where he came to know Crestline Sanitation District (CSD) employees and was eventually hired as an “operator-in-training,” He worked his way up to operator I, operator II, lead plant operator, chief plant operator, operations manager, interim general manager and then general manager.
Pattison opined changes to regulatory requirements were the biggest change he experienced at the district during his 37-year career. At one time during his long career, CSD was operated by San Bernardino County Special Districts. He recalled when employees worked all over the county.
On November 4, 2008, residents of Crestline and surrounding communities voted in favor of making CSD an independent district. They elected an advisory board consisting of Ken Stone, Sherri Fairbanks, Matthew Philippe, Mike Pate and Penny Shubnell. The district became officially independent in October 2010.
Pattison was promoted to interim-general manager on November 9, 2012, when CSD General Manager Kathy Whalen retired. Five months later, on April 11, 2013, Pattison was appointed general manager.
Three months later Rick Dever was appointed operations manager. Dever, a Crestline resident since 1974, had worked at Lake Arrowhead Community Services District for 27-years, earning the position of operations foreman.
Pattison explained one of CSD Strategic Plan’s goals was to “always put the agency in a position where there was someone else who could step in and do the job” and so Pattison took Dever under his wing.
Accomplishments during Pattison’s term as general manager include replacing two pumps and generators at its Forest Shade Pump Station in August 2013, protecting Lake Gregory from potential sewage spills, negotiating and finalizing an agreement with its newly formed employee union at a May 27, 2014, special meeting, televising and inspecting 70 miles of sewer pipeline, cleaned 11,000 feet and slip-lined 5,315 linear feet and rehabilitated six manholes by December 2014, upgraded its billing system in mid-2014, implementing a five year rate increase after six years “to improve its infrastructure at its October 5, 2014, meeting, evaluating its outfall line in late 2015, filing its ongoing lawsuit against the City of Hesperia to protect its right to continue discharging effluent on the Las Flores Ranch in Summit Valley on February 25, 2016, passing a random audit conducted by the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control board mid-2016, completing its 2016-2020 Strategic Plan, receiving approval from the State Water Resources Control Board to sell its recycled water late 2016, and contracting to sell its recycled water to Skanska for its State Highway 138 (East Re-alignment Project).
Pattison credited Dever with improving the district’s safety program, lowering the district’s workman’s comp insurance rates, accountant/bookkeeper Dawn Grantham with upgrading its billing system and electro-mechanical specialist Jordan Dietz with working on a SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) (wireless) system for the district.
Dever is confident he can lead the district into the future based on its supportive board and great staff. His first goal is completing a master plan taking the district “20 years into the future.”
“We were comfortable promoting Rick and I really enjoyed working with Mark, he was a very competent manager,” CSD Director Penny Shubnell voiced.
“Rick is just as capable as Mark,” Shubnell opined, explaining she has “full faith” in Dever that he will “take it to higher limits” and thinks “the whole board would agree with me.”