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Former city, state employee to serve as next Tacoma Public Utility Board member

Karen Larkin, a former city of Tacoma and state of Washington employee, will serve a five-year term as the newest member of the Tacoma Public Utility Board. She will attend her first board meeting at 6:30 p.m. tonight.

“Serving on Tacoma’s Public Utility Board is an excellent opportunity to use my years of education and experience to give back to my community in a meaningful way,” Larkin said.

Larkin has a long history of public service. She served as an assistant director at the Washington State Department of Commerce from 2008 until she retired in 2013. Prior to that, she worked her way through the ranks of Tacoma’s city government during her 31-year tenure. She began her career at the city as a civil engineer and left city employment as an assistant director of Public Works, managing Environmental Services.

“My experience with the City of Tacoma and the Department of Commerce has deepened my understanding that strong public infrastructure, thoughtful planning and growth management are essential to a healthy community and economic development,” Larkin said.

Larkin will replace David Nelson, who served on the Public Utility Board since 2008.

The Public Utility Board is the governing body for Tacoma Public Utilities, which consists of Tacoma Power, Tacoma Water and Tacoma Rail. Tacoma Public Utilities serves 200,000 customers in the Tacoma-Pierce County area.

The City Council appoints the five members, who serve five-year terms without pay. The Board meets on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. in the Public Utilities Administration Building, South 35th Street and Union Avenue. Meetings are open to the public and public comments are accepted. Meetings are broadcast live on TV Tacoma channel 12.

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