October 18, 2011 (La Mesa)-- After 10 years as General Manager of the Helix Water District, Mark Weston announced he will retire on December 30. On Tuesday at 6 p.m., the Board will provide staff with directions on recruiting a replacement. The meeting will be held at 7811 University Avenue in La Mesa.
Before serving as General Manager, Weston spent three years as Helix’s Director of Engineering. He has 38 years experience in water, wastewater, municipal infrastructure engineering, and management. He previously spent a decade as Director of Engineering for the City of Poway. Prior to Poway, he worked for the County of San Diego, the city of Helena, Montana, and the state governments of Montana and California.
During his time as General Manager, Weston has overseen a large capital improvement program, which included the upgrading of the R.M. Levy Water Treatment Plant in Lakeside. The facility now uses ozone as its primary disinfectant and is capable of processing 106 million gallons of water per day, providing water to Otay, Padre Dam, and Lakeside water districts.
Other capital projects included the replacement of 30 miles of cast iron piping, replacement of numerous pump stations and storage tanks, the institution of small and large valve replacement programs, and the recent installation of a solar shade structure at the District’s Operations Center in El Cajon.
Under Weston’s tenure, the District developed long-term financing plans, 2020 Capital Improvement Plan, Water Conservation initiatives, District Vision Plan, Geographical Information System, expanded electronic and computer systems, and modernized every infrastructure system of the District.
The District also drew controversy, however, over water rate hikes due to drought and water supply cutbacks in a recessionary era, with critics contending that management should cut expenses before asking ratepayers to pay more.
Weston stated, “I am extremely proud of the accomplishments of the employees at Helix who are recognized as among the best qualified in the water industry. I’m happy to have been able to work for such a professional organization.”
According to a press release issued by the district, Weston plans to continue to be active in the water community and travel with his wife, Anne.
Helix Water District serves 262,000 customers in La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Spring Valley, El Cajon, parts of Lakeside and Santee, and some of the unincorporated areas of San Diego County.