When Luke Serpa took over the reins as the new City Manager of Clovis a few months ago, it left a vacancy in his old post of Public Utilities Director. After an extensive nationwide search for someone to fill Serpa’s shoes, the perfect candidate was ultimately selected from within and Clovis native Scott Redelfs, who previously served as Assistant Public Utilities Director for the city, was promoted and got to drop “assistant” off his title on Sept. 6.
Redelfs is a product of Clovis schools and graduated from Clovis West High School in 1983. He took a brief educational hiatus before enrolling at Fresno City College and ultimately transferring to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where he earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering, graduating in 1992. Before being hired by the City of Clovis, he worked at the Kings River Conservation District for 13 years, ending as a Supervising Engineering. The city then brought him on as an Assistant Engineering in June 2005 and he quickly promoted to Associate Civil Engineer where he remained for seven years until moving up to Assistant Public Utilities Director in Aug. 2013.
Redelfs said he is honored to continue serving the city as its Public Utilities Director.
In a recent Q&A session, the Roundup asked Redelfs about his new position and his vision for the city moving forward:
Clovis Roundup: How do you feel about your new position as Public Utilities Director?
Redelfs: I am extremely excited about the opportunity and very aware of the importance of the position. There is a lot of responsibility that comes with this position. I’ll be leading a department of more than 150 staff, interacting with Departmental and Agency peers and colleagues, working with the City leaders (Council and City Manager’s office) to implement the City’s mission, vision and values – and I’m ready for the challenge!
CR: You’re coming in at a time when the state is coming down with regulations on groundwater pumping. What is your stance on this issue and how does the City of Clovis plan to address this to ensure its agricultural residents and commercial farmers who use well water have enough water if they can’t go below a certain depth?
Redelfs: We are all working through the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). The City of Clovis is part of a local group representing the Kings sub-basin and participates with the City of Fresno, County of Fresno, Fresno Irrigation District and several water districts and have formed the North Kings Groundwater Sustainability Agency (NKGSA). This agency is tasked with meeting SGMA requirements to develop Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSP’s) that will address the overdrafted basin and ensure there is water for agricultural and municipal uses. Water is a precious resource and the City of Clovis along with the other agencies are committed to developing solutions in securing it for our future and protecting the overdrafted basin.
CR: What are the city’s current expansion plans for water and sewer infrastructure? Are there existing areas in need of improvements as well? What water/sewer projects are lined up over the next few years?
Redelfs: The newest growth area of our City will be the Northwest, better known as Heritage Grove (north of Shepherd and east of Willow). Our current growth area, Loma Vista, is almost 60 percent entitled which opens the door for Heritage Grove to begin development. There will be major infrastructure projects that include water and sewer to serve the new community area.
CR: In what areas do you feel Clovis needs improvement or change, particularly in the public utilities arena?
Redelfs: We have a philosophy out here that we can always do things better in providing services to our customers, the residents of Clovis. So we are consistently looking to how we can provide better services, streamline processes, and connect with the public we serve.
CR: What can residents do to help conserve water and other resources?
Redelfs: The City and the residents were all doing a good job of conserving water before the drought crisis in 2015, and did an even better job to conserve water under the conservation limits given by the State during and after the crisis. The City and its residents also do a great job in meeting State mandated diversion rates for disposing of Municipal Solid Waste (trash). Our recycling and greenwaste programs having been very successful.
CR: What is your favorite thing about Clovis?
Redelfs: That it really is a way of life and how much Clovis employees and the public care about the City of Clovis.
CR: Where do you see Clovis five years from now?
Redelfs: The leadership, foresight and wisdom of our past and current Council have made Clovis one of the best cities to live and work in. I see Clovis continuing to be a magnet for families, jobs, and schools (CUSD will undoubtedly continue to be one of the best school districts in the state). For our Public Utilities Department, I see us providing the same superior level of service we provide now, and development of our employees to meet the future demands in maintaining a growing and vibrant city. We can rest assured that we have built a strong foundation so that Clovis will remain a city of choice and has a bright future not only five years from now, but 50 years from now.