CMUA President's Message

CMUA Board President Dan BeansIt is hard to find certainty and persistence in most aspects of life. I often think about a short sentence from Stephen King’s novel 11-22-63: “Life turns on a dime.” As we watch events unfolding globally and here at home, we are inundated with examples that confirm the fluidity of our existence.

As publicly owned enterprises, California Municipal Utilities Association (CMUA) member electric utilities and water/wastewater agencies must adapt to ever-changing circumstances. We are no different than any other business … or are we?

Municipal utilities must stay constantly engaged with government at all levels to ensure laws and regulations do not hinder our ability to serve our customer-owners. We must constantly enhance our methods and services to meet our customers’ needs and expectations. We must operate with fiscal clarity and transparency, and constantly find ways to reduce the impact of our operations on the environment. After all, many businesses of all kinds do some or all of these activities.

However, although municipal utilities share many similarities with the average business, there is nothing typical about our purpose and core values. Unlike a private company, failure is not an option for us. We must prepare for the unexpected, deliver water and energy 24/7/365, and persevere through adversity. Without clean water and reliable energy, humans cannot survive. Our ownership model — directly accountable to our local communities— is what sets us apart from being “just another business.”

Publicly owned water and electric utilities exist to benefit those we serve. Yet, we are not satisfied just to deliver clean water and reliable power to our communities. Our mandate is to do it in a way that makes life better for those we serve.

Even when our mission is complicated by wildfires, drought, global pandemics, supply chain failures, and a myriad of issues both near and far, we can’t and won’t stop. Our sense of urgency drives us; we never stop working — never.

What we do is not all that mysterious.  Why we do what we do is the “secret sauce” why publicly owned utilities are better, more reliable and affordable, and more responsive to our customers. We do it for our communities. That’s our why.

Thank you for the honor of serving as your President! Our unity and commitment through CMUA is another way we can work together to deliver benefits to our respective communities.

Dan Beans
Roseville Electric Utility Director & CMUA Board of Governors President