Today, Elly Claus-McGahan, a K-12 math educator, will attend her first meeting as the newest Tacoma Public Utility Board member.
Claus-McGahan has worked in math education locally for more than 20 years, and recently expanded her interests to climate change action and affordable housing, volunteering her time to the Sustainable Tacoma Commission, Habitat for Humanity and other local groups focused on these areas. She also has a PhD in Mathematics from the University of Texas at Austin and a professional development certificate from George Washington University in Development and Financing of Renewable Projects.
“As a board member, I will pay particular attention to equitable decarbonization, affordability, and sustainability,” said Claus-McGahan. “Decarbonization leads to greater health from reduced pollution indoors and out, affordability puts people first and supports Tacoma’s goal to be inclusive, and sustainability provides for our region’s long-term vitality, health, and beauty. I’m looking forward to working with a dedicated board and organization.”
Former Public Utility Board Chair Christine Cooley departed from the board at the end of September, creating the vacant position. Claus-McGahan will serve out Cooley’s term as a board member, and Carlos M. Watson will become the new chair. John O’Loughlin is the vice-chair, Holland Cohen is secretary, and William Bridges is also a member.
The Public Utility Board is a five-person 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.
Board members are appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the Tacoma City Council. Members serve a five-year term without pay. The Board meets on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month. The public can attend meetings in-person or virtually and should check MyTPU.org and Tacoma Public Utilities social media for times and Zoom information. Meetings are also broadcast live and live-streamed by TV Tacoma.
Submit written comments to the Public Utility Board at UtilityBoard@cityoftacoma.org. Comments will be provided to the Board if received by 2 p.m. before the meeting.
For more about the Public Utility Board, visit MyTPU.org/Board.