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Central San announces new finance director, facility tour

Local sewer district also wins public outreach award

The Central Contra Costa Sanitary District (Central San) announced that Monday was the first day on the job for Phil Leiber, the sewer agency's new director of finance and administration.

Leiber comes on board the same week as the district -- which provides sewer service to most of the San Ramon Valley -- is set to host a free public tour of its wastewater treatment facility and several weeks after the agency announced it won an industry award for outstanding public outreach.

Joining Central San with 20 years of financial experience in the utility industry, Leiber now oversees the district's finance, purchasing, information technology, risk management, communication services and intergovernmental relations activities.

"I am very happy to be joining the Central San team and working with the dedicated staff and management to implement their goals and objectives," said Leiber, who most recently worked as chief financial officer (CFO) for the Coronal Group, a utility-scale solar developer headquartered in Glendale.

"I am impressed with the sense of pride in the mission and history of the organization, and the effort that the board, management and staff have put into planning for the future. I look forward to contributing to the implementation of these plans," he added.

Leiber is a California certified public accountant and a certified treasury professional. He also previously worked as CFO of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, CFO of Seattle City Light and CFO and treasurer of the California Independent System Operator based near Sacramento.

He holds a master's degree in accounting and a bachelor's degree in business administration/finance from the University of Michigan, and a master's degree in computer information systems from the University of Phoenix.

"We are pleased to welcome Phil to Central San," Central San general manager Roger Bailey said. "He has amazing credentials and a wealth of experience that will help us to continue our focus on fiscal responsibility and planning for the future needs of our customers."

Facility tour

Central San this Wednesday (Nov. 30) is hosting a free, 90-minute tour of its wastewater treatment plant in Martinez -- for those, as the district put it, "wondering where all the water and other stuff goes after draining from sinks, showers, tubs, washing machines and toilets?"

Attendees will learn how wastewater is treated and transformed into resources like energy and drought-proof recycled water, officials said.

The treatment plant cleans more than 32 million gallons of wastewater a day, produces 600 million gallons of recycled water each year and generates more than 80% of its own power needs. It has earned the National Association of Clean Water Agencies' Peak Performance Award for 18 years in a row.

The behind-the-scenes tour will start at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the treatment plant at 5019 Imhoff Place in Martinez.

Participants must be at least 10 years old and those younger than 18 must be accompanied by an adult. The tour entails a lot of walking and stairs, and Central San cannot accommodate people with mobility disabilities, officials said.

Reservations are required. Visit the RSVP webpage or contact Kit Ohlman at 229-7329 or kohlman@centralsan.org.

The tours run quarterly, with the next one scheduled for Jan. 25. Central San also offers an online virtual tour with its "Follow the Flow" video on YouTube.

Industry award

Central San also recently announced it received the Exceptional Public Outreach & Advocacy Award from the California Special Districts Association during the association's annual conference in San Diego last month.

The district earned the honor for its Citizens Academy program, a six-week session that aims to increase public awareness and advocacy of core services.

"During the academy's inaugural session in spring 2016, 23 participants learned about Central San's operations as an efficient and effective government agency; how they are striving to provide drought relief through increased use of recycled water; and how they collect and clean wastewater using engineering, technology, biology, and chemistry," district officials said.

The program included classroom presentations, a tour of Central San's award-winning treatment plant, and a Q&A with members of the Board of Directors. District officials said the academy aims to open up a dialogue with its customers and allow Central San to give back to its community.

For more information about the program or to apply for the spring 2017 session, visit the academy webpage.

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