Director’s evaluation commends maintaining service levels and key organizational priorities while exceeding expectations on pandemic response
Last night, the Public Utility Board voted to reconfirm Jackie Flowers as Director of Utilities for Tacoma Public Utilities, providing her an overall evaluation rating of “exceeds expectations” for her second-year performance.
“Director Flowers was doing an excellent job before COVID-19 hit. She has demonstrated her leadership in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic with grace, compassion, an eye for equity, and close coordination with our community partners and City Government,” said Bryan Flint, who recently took over as chair of the Public Utility Board. “Director Flowers acted swiftly during the crisis to bring forward policy changes that enhanced bill payment assistance programs for customers in need, increased eligibility and funding, and spread the word to customers to take advantage of the program.”
This year, due to the financial impacts to the City from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board and Director agreed not to give the director a pay increase. In addition, the Director has chosen to take voluntary furlough days in 2020 as a cost-saving measure.
In their evaluation, the Public Utility Board commended Flowers on several key successes during her second year as director:
- Responding to the COVID-19 crisis while at the same time staying focused on preserving progress on other important priorities, requiring leadership and strong communication skills.
- Finalizing a partnership with Rainier Connect that maintains ownership of the fiber asset, meets all 12 policy goals, and transitioned Click! cable TV without any service interruptions to customers.
- Establishing a high level of trust with the Board by communicating openly, bringing issues early, and creating new procedures for follow -through on Board requests.
- Building cooperative relationships throughout all levels of City government, including joint leadership with the City Manager and positive working relationships with the Mayor and City Council.
- Quickly pivoting on a payment assistance goal in response to COVID-19 by leading policy changes to expand eligibility requirements, available funding, and robust outreach and communications to customers in need.
- Consistently and compassionately demonstrating a commitment to lead the organization towards a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Flowers joined the utility in 2018 after a competitive, public hiring process. The board voted unanimously to appoint Flowers, a decision that was confirmed by City Council and resulted in a two-year term.
In accordance with the City Charter, Flowers’ reappointment will go in front of Mayor Woodards and City Council for confirmation on Tuesday, July 14, during the City Council meeting.