News

Lakehaven utility workers want GM to resign

By ERICA HALL

The Mirror

Lakehaven Utility District's wastewater treatment plant operators and water and sewer maintenance workers have issued a letter of no confidence in district general manager Don Perry, saying he has undermined employee trust and support and requesting that he resign.

The letter, signed by more than 50 union workers for the district, comes in the midst of difficult contract negotiations with the plant operators. But, according to Commissioner Bev Tweddle, it has nothing to do with the negotiations.

"It's been an ongoing problem," she said. "We need to address employees' concerns."

Perry serves at the pleasure of the elected commissioners, who could ultimately ask for his resignation, though Tweddle said that's unlikely to happen.

According to the district, Perry, appointed as general manager in 1997, is a registered professional engineer with 36 years of experience in the water and wastewater utility profession. He has also worked with utilities in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states and is a graduate of the University of Connecticut.

A mediator was meeting with both sides Wednesday in the contract negotiations between Lakehaven and International Union of Operating Engineers Local 286. The union, whose members have been without a contract since Jan. 1, objects to what it describes as district-proposed reductions in pay increases and benefits.

The district provides water and sewer service to approximately 112,000 people in an area of approximately 35 square miles, including most of Federal Way and small portions of Des Moines, Auburn, Pacific, Tacoma, and Milton.

Staff writer Erica Hall: 925-5565, ehall@fedwaymirror.com

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