Auburn, Calif.- David A. Breninger, longtime general manager of the Placer County Water Agency, on Thursday (Oct. 30) announced his retirement to the PCWA Board of Directors.
“My service to you and with our team has been profoundly rewarding,” said Breninger, who plans to retire Mar. 6. “I’ve enjoyed every moment working for the board and with each director all these years.”
Breninger is closing out a 23-year career with the water agency and nearly 48 years in public administration.
As the top executive of the countywide special district, Breninger has overseen management of water resources and hydroelectric energy production, as well as water utility service to wide areas of Placer County.
Under his leadership, PCWA has achieved significant advances including construction of the PCWA Business Center, the American River Pump Station, water treatment plants, federal relicensing of the Middle Fork American River Hydroelectric Project and development of a new agreement to sell the agency’s hydroelectric energy output to the Pacific Gas and Electric Company.
He has been at the helm of the agency through droughts, floods, fires on the watershed and the water shortage emergency that grew from the PG&E Bear River Canal break in 2011 and the drought this year. He instituted the agency’s Financial Assistance Program that has aided local water purveyors across Placer County.
Members of the PCWA Board of Directors offered congratulations and compliments to Breninger for his many years of service to the people of Placer County.
“It is a well-deserved retirement but Dave will truly be missed,” said PCWA Board Chairman Joshua Alpine and District 5 representative. “Dave has remarkable leadership abilities. He’s been able to bring people together, solve past challenges, and to see and identify future challenges. He has built a solid foundation for the water agency and is leaving us a bright future.”
Fellow director Mike Lee, who represents District 3, said, “Dave’s primary strength has been his leadership and his ability to communicate with members of the board in ways that are sensitive to our individual visions of how the agency should be managed. I was familiar with the agency before Dave was hired and I have seen its transformation under his leadership,” said Lee.
Former longtime director Ed Horton was on the board that selected Breninger for the agency’s top management job in 1992. “Through Dave’s intuitiveness, sensitivity, and willingness to collaborate on matters related to water, energy, and stewardship, the agency is well positioned to continue to serve and protect the interests of the people of Placer County,” said Horton.
Breninger has earned many professional recognitions including the 2011 President’s Award of the National Water Resources Association and being named as 2003 Water Statesperson of The Year by the Regional Water Authority of Sacramento.
He holds a BA in political science and MA in Public Administration. His career in public service began in 1967 as a college intern. He went on to serve as assistant city manager in Petaluma, general manager of the East Yolo Community Services District, and assistant city manager in Santa Rosa. He served for eight years as city administrator of Grass Valley before joining PCWA in January 1992.
As a part of a strategic planning session held following Breninger’s announcement, the Board of Directors defined certain characteristics and abilities they would like to see in a new general manager. Their observations will be included into the agency’s recruitment for a successor. The recruitment process is scheduled for discussion and action at the board’s next meeting.
Breninger and his wife, Linda, a retired middle school administrator, reside in Roseville where they are proud grandparents and enjoy a variety of cultural and outdoor activities.
The Breningers plan to continue their volunteer broadcasting activities with Nevada City community radio station KVMR-89.5 FM where they produce and host “Old Radio Theater,” a popular program that has aired since 1985.
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