MWD of Southern California names new board members
Directors representing Central Basin MWD, City of Glendale join Metropolitan Board.
LOS ANGELES, FEBRUARY 15, 2017 -- Three new members representing the Central Basin Municipal Water District and the city of Glendale were seated yesterday on the board of directors of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
Bell Gardens City Councilmember Pedro Aceituno and real estate broker Phillip D. Hawkins will serve as Central Basin's representatives on Metropolitan's 38-member board, joining Glendale City Councilmember Zareh Sinanyan as the city's representative.
Aceituno replaces Leticia Vásquez-Wilson, who had served on the Metropolitan board since February 2015 and previously from February 2013 to July 2014. Hawkins returns to Metropolitan's board—where he served from July 2014 to February 2015 and from June 2003 to August 2009. He succeeds Robert Apodaca, who represented Central Basin since February 2013 as well as from June 2003 to August 2009. Sinanyan follows Laura Friedman, who had represented the city since February 2009.
First elected to the Bell Garden City Council in 1999, Aceituno is the city's longest-serving elected official. He was elected to the Central Basin board last November, representing Bell Gardens, Downey, Montebello, Pico Rivera, West Whittier-Los Nietos and unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County.
Aceituno was recognized by Central Basin in 2007 for his work in making Bell Gardens the first city in the region to embrace a city-wide water conservation program. He helped transform the city into a "California Friendly City" model by integrating key water-saving measures at public parks and facilities.
A life-long Bell Gardens resident, Aceituno is the city's representative to the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County, Southeast Area Animal Control Authority, Southern California Association of Governments, Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District, Eco-Rapid Transit and the Gateway Cities Council of Governments.
Re-elected to his fifth term on Central Basin's board last November, Hawkins currently serves as board president. His Central Basin district consists of the cities of Artesia, Bellflower, Cerritos, Hawaiian Gardens, Lakewood, Paramount and Signal Hill.
A real estate broker since 1977, Hawkins has opened several businesses, including Realty World in Bellflower, Herbert Hawkins Realty, also in Bellflower, Century 21 in Norwalk and the Dean Company.
Hawkins, a Cerritos resident, was elected to the California Assembly in 1994, representing the 56th Assembly District until 1996. During his Assembly term, he was chairman of the Committee on Housing and Community Development and vice chair of the Committee on Budget, and served as a member of various other committees.
An attorney with his own Glendale law practice, Sinanyan was elected to the City Council in April 2013 and served as mayor from April 2014 to April 2015. The founding chair of the Glendale Economic Development Corp., he currently serves as Glendale Housing Authority chair, secretary of the Burbank/Glendale/Pasadena Airport Authority, and vice chair of the Eco-Rapid Transit Authority.
Born in formerly Soviet Armenia, Sinanyan earned his bachelor's degrees in political science and history at UCLA and his juris doctorate from the University of Southern California Law School.
While in law school, Sinanyan interned for Justice Earl Johnson of the California Court of Appeal, where he helped draft appellate opinions for a number of cases ranging from criminal to civil matters. He also clerked and worked for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's Enforcement Division.
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a state-established cooperative of 26 cities and water agencies serving nearly 19 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 resource-management programs.