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TUD Selects PR Firm: Balen Re-elected Board President

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Sonora, CA — The Tuolumne Utilities District has hired a firm to help with public relations efforts related to the potential acquisition of PG&E water infrastructure.

The board of directors voted 5-0 to hire the firm Rafetelis Financial Consultants to help develop an outreach campaign that will educate ratepayers, and the overall community, about the benefits of acquiring the Phoenix Powerhouse and the Tuolumne Main Canal (and its correlating assets like Lyons Dam and Pinecrest Reservoir). The public relations contract will cost the district just over $119,000. District staff called the potential infrastructure and water rights acquisition a “once in a lifetime opportunity.” We reported earlier that TUD is in exclusive negotiations with PG&E regarding the assets. No financial details regarding the potential sale have been released at this point.

In addition, the directors voted to re-elect Barbara Balen as board president for another year. Throughout 2021, Balen has been in the leadership role and Ron Ringen has been the vice president. Ringen argued there have been “incredible accomplishments” over this past year. He motioned that Balen continues as president and Jeff Kerns step into the role of vice president. It was seconded by Balen. That vote was also unanimous, 5-0.