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Jose Lopez elected as Vice President and Ryan Keyes as Treasurer

East County News Service

Photo:  Mark Robak

January 26, 2023 (Spring Valley) - At its January meeting, the Otay Water District board of directors elected new officers to lead the District's board for 2023.

The board elected director Mark Robak, who represents division five, as president. The board also elected board member Jose Lopez, serving division four, as vice president and Ryan Keyes, serving division two, as treasurer.

Robak's election as president follows two years of board leadership under past president Tim Smith. Robak will serve as president through January 2024 when officer elections will again take place. He has served on the District's board for 18 years since January 2005.

"The District, its staff, and its board set a respectable example of providing exceptional service to its ratepayers," says Robak. "I'm proud to be part of the leadership team to help achieve our mission of managing the District's resources in a transparent and fiscally responsible manner with the goal of continuing to be one of the lowest water and sewer providers in San Diego County."

Photo, right:  Jose Lopez 

In addition to serving as the board president in 2023, Robak will serve as the chair of the engineering, operations, and water resources, desalination project, and ad hoc Salt Creek Golf Course lease and property disposition committees. He will also serve as the District's representative for the California Special Districts Association for the state and county, the OWD and Sweetwater Authority Task Force to develop recycled water opportunities, San Diego Area Wastewater Management District (Metro Commission), Water Conservation Garden Authority, South County Economic Development Corporation, Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA), and ACWA-JPIA.

Robak served as vice president of the board for four years from 2019 through 2022. In 2022, he also served as chair of the District's finance and administration, ad hoc Salt Creek Golf Course lease and property disposition, and redistricting committees, and also served as the District's representative for the OWD and Sweetwater Authority Task Force to develop recycled water opportunities, the San Diego Area Wastewater Management District (Metro Commission), Water Conservation Garden Authority, WateReuse Association, ACWA, and ACWA-JPIA. Robak also previously held positions of treasurer in 2018 and president in 2017.

Robak, a commercial real estate broker, has been in the commercial real estate industry since 1990 and owns SDCRE, a commercial real estate company located in La Mesa. He also serves on the Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors and the government affairs committee of the East County Chamber of Commerce. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Public Administration from San Diego State University. Robak is also active in other community organizations as a volunteer, having served on the San Diego-Imperial Council of the Boys Scouts, Boys and Girls Club, Lions Club, and other local charitable organizations.

Photo, left:  Ryan Keyes

The five-member board of directors is the governing body of the District and is responsible for setting rates for service, taxes, policies, ordinances, adopting the annual budget and other matters related to the management and operation of the water agency. Each director is elected by voters within one of five divisions to represent the public's interest on the board. Directors serve four-year terms in office. Following the vote of officers by the board at its meeting, each of the directors immediately assumed all powers and duties of an officer of the board of directors.

The Otay Water District is a public agency providing water, recycled water, and sewer service to approximately 228,000 customers within approximately 125 square miles of southeastern San Diego County, including the communities of eastern Chula Vista, Bonita, Jamul, Spring Valley, Rancho San Diego, unincorporated areas of El Cajon and La Mesa, and eastern Otay Mesa along the international border with Mexico. For more information on the Otay Water District, visit otaywater.gov.

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