Phillip J. Pace elected to another term as Metropolitan board chairman

Oct. 10, 2002
Phillip J. Pace, whose leadership ushered in an era of change at one of the nation's largest regional water agencies, Thursday was re-elected chairman of the board of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

LOS ANGELES, Calif., Oct. 10, 2002 -- Phillip J. Pace, whose leadership ushered in an era of change at one of the nation's largest regional water agencies, Thursday was re-elected chairman of the board of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

Pace, of Montebello, will begin a two-year term Jan. 1. One of two representatives of Central Basin Municipal Water District on the MWD board, he was first elected chairman in October 1998.

"We have created strong momentum for change over the past couple of years through our strategic planning process and district-wide reorganization. I would also like the public to know how dedicated this hard-working MWD board of directors is, working without pay for the public good," Pace said.

"I'm honored to continue my involvement in helping guide Metropolitan as it meets its mission of providing a reliable, high-quality and affordable water supply for the 17 million Southern Californians we serve," he said.

As the head of MWD's 37-member board, Pace represents district policies and programs at national, state and local levels. He also chairs the monthly meetings of the board and its executive committee. In addition, he appoints all members of the district's six standing committees, as well as the leaders of any special committee or task force.

Among his achievements, Pace streamlined the MWD board's committee structure and reformatted meetings to make them more time-efficient. His efforts further paved the way for Metropolitan's board to be reduced from 51 to 37 directors in January 2001.

Pace led the board through a difficult but critically important strategic planning process, begun four years ago, in order to collaboratively craft a new water future in Southern California. This spring many of the initiatives set forth by this collaborative process were brought to fruition.

Among these was the adoption of a new tiered rate structure, which unbundled the district's existing rates by breaking them down into separate water supply and commodity charges that reflect district costs to treat, deliver and develop water supplies. The new rate structure offers customers -- the 26 member public agencies that form Metropolitan -- more flexibility and choice in shaping their water futures, allowing them to take advantage of opportunities in California's evolving water marketplace and resource options, such as water recycling and desalination.

His terms in office were highlighted by the completion of Diamond Valley Lake, Southern California's largest water storage facility, near Hemet in southwest Riverside County. Now nearly filled to its 260 billion-gallon capacity, the lake nearly doubles the region's surface storage capacity.

Water quality gained more prominence at Metropolitan under his leadership, as the district stepped up its efforts to protect water at the source so consumers can trust it at the tap.

Metropolitan -- one of the world's largest providers of treated drinking water -- joined Gov. Gray Davis in calling for the elimination of MTBE in gasoline. Pace also helped lead support for federal legislation authorizing the removal of a 10.5-million-ton pile of radioactive uranium mill tailings from the banks of the Colorado River at Moab, Utah.

Pace, a member of the MWD board since May 1995, served three terms as Montebello city treasurer from 1970 to 1982. Previously, he was the city's civil service commissioner from 1966 to 1970.

President of Pace Land & Development in Montebello, Pace is a member of the Montebello Chamber of Commerce and serves as the board vice chairman at Golden Security bank. He is a past member of the Board of Medical Quality Assurance of the California Medical Board, and has served as a member of the Beverly Hospital Foundation Board and as the founding chairman and board member of the Lifeline Adult day Health Care Center in Montebello.

Born in Painesville, Ohio, Pace earned a degree in business administration from Cal State Los Angeles. Pace and his wife, Phyllis, have three children and two grandchildren.

For more information, please visit the Metropolitan website at

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a cooperative of 26 cities and water agencies serving 17 million people in six counties. The District imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement local supplies, and helps its members to develop increased water conservation, recycling, storage, and other water-management programs.

Source: Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

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