Board-Director Linkage

It is a time of monumental change in the utility industry. Utilities must embrace innovation and move quickly to find new and better ways to deliver affordable, reliable, and environmentally sensitive services to its customers.

With this in the mind, the Tacoma Public Utility Board launched policy development of Government Process, Board-Director Linkage, and Strategic Directives.

The Government Process Policies are processes for how the Board will govern itself. The Board-Director linkage policies clarify how the Board expects the Director of the Utilities to carry out the work of TPU. The Strategic Directives capture the performance for which the Board will hold TPU accountable on behalf of its ratepayers.

The Board-Director Linkage Policies clarify how the Board expects the Director of Utilities to carry out the work of TPU.

These policies are adopted as of Jan. 8, 2020. 

Board-Director Relationship

Tacoma Public Utility Board 

  • Approves vision and mission of TPU and establishes the strategic directive TPU is to achieve, communicating them in the form of policy.
  • Monitors and measures the results of the strategic directives.
  • Ensures decisions are in alignment with the City Charter, City Code, Board policies, and laws.
  • Appoints, evaluates, decides whether to confirm, and when necessary, discharge the Director of Utilities.
  • For purposes of inquiry, seeks information from staff consistent with section 4.19 of the City Charter and should funnel such requests through the Director of Utilities or members of the senior leadership team.
  • Approves all attorneys from the City Attorney’s Office assigned to act as counsel to TPU.

Director of Utilities

  • Leads the implementation of TPU’s vision, mission, and strategy.
  • Manages all operations and business affairs of TPU, with a primary focus on leadership of the TPU executive management team to implement TPU strategic directives.
  • Communicates regularly and effectively with the Board on the business of TPU.
  • Manages the implementation of systems and policies that enable TPU to conduct its activities both lawfully and ethically.
  • Prepares and submits the TPU operating divisions strategic plans to the Board for review and approval and ensures all TPU expenditures are within the authorized biennial budget.
  • Appoints, subject to confirmation by the Board, a Superintendent for each utility system under the Director’s control.
  • Conducts a thorough on-boarding process and orientation for new Board members.

Read more about this policy.

Delegations to the Director of Utilities

The Board instructs the Director of Utilities (Director) through written policies that define the results that the organization is to achieve and which are consistent with the delegation of authority that the Board has previously made to the Director.

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