Leading Through Collaboration and Cooperation
By AMWUA Staff
With foresight and an understanding of the water challenges that life in the desert can bring, mayors from Valley cities gathered to discuss how to work together on water issues more than 50 years ago. They then formed a unique and innovative partnership – the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association (AMWUA). Over time it would become a collaboration of ten member municipalities working for the common purpose of safeguarding water resources in the Valley.
The AMWUA Board of Directors, which is comprised of the mayor or a councilmember from each of our ten member municipalities, is the policy-setting body for AMWUA, and they champion shared, long-term vision and planning for strong water management policies. Having elected officials from each city who are engaged and informed on water issues enables the Board to come together and work collaboratively for what is in the best interest of all involved. This cooperation is also significant because each board member shares that water knowledge with their fellow councilmembers within their municipalities. This ensures that our members' governing councils are up to date on relevant and vital water issues and policies. AMWUA's Board structure is innovative and has united the cities to work together for the betterment and sustainability of our communities and collaborative economy.
The AMWUA Board of Directors that provides that crucial guidance and leadership is comprised of:
THE HONORABLE KEVIN THOMPSON (PRESIDENT)
Councilmember of Mesa
Kevin Thompson was elected to the Mesa City Council in August 2014, Councilmember Kevin Thompson began his first term representing District 6 in January of 2015. Councilmember Thompson currently serves as the President of the AMWUA Board of Directors and joined the Board in November 2015.
THE HONORABLE BART TURNER (VICE PRESIDENT)
Councilmember of Glendale
Bart Turner was elected to Glendale City Council in January 2015 and was re-elected for a second term. Councilmember Turner currently serves as Vice President of the AMWUA Board of Directors and joined the Board in December 2014.
THE HONORABLE RENÉ LOPEZ (SECRETARY/TREASURER)
Councilmember of Chandler
René Lopez has lived and worked in Chandler for more than nine years. He began his first term on the Chandler City Council in January of 2015. Councilmember Lopez currently serves as the Secretary/Treasurer on the AMWUA Board of Directors and joined the Board in January 2017.
THE HONORABLE SCOTT ANDERSON
Councilmember of Gilbert
Scott Anderson was elected to the Gilbert Town Council in 2016. Councilmember Anderson has served on the AMWUA Board of Directors since February 2020.
THE HONORABLE CATHY CARLAT
Mayor of Peoria
Cathy Carlat took office as Peoria’s Mayor in January 2015. She has served on Peoria City Council since 2005. Mayor Carlat has served on the AMWUA Board of Directors since January 2015.
THE HONORABLE DOREEN GARLID
Councilmember of Tempe
Doreen Garlid was elected for her first term with Tempe City Council in 2020. Councilmember Garlid has served on the AMWUA Board of Directors since July 2020.
THE HONORABLE DAVID ORTEGA
Mayor of Scottsdale
David Ortega was elected as the Mayor of Scottsdale in 2021 and previosly served on Scottsdale City Council in 2000-2004. Mayor Ortega is the newest member of the AMWUA Board of Directors since joining January 2021.
THE HONORABLE SHERI LAURITANO
Councilmember of Goodyear
Sheri Lauritano was elected to Goodyear City Council in 2011 for her first full term. Councilmember Lauritano has served on the AMWUA Board of Directors since August 2018.
THE HONORABLE CURTIS NIELSON
Councilmember of Avondale
Curtis Nielson was elected in 2018 to serve as Councilmember on the Avondale City Council. His four-year term began in January 2019. Councilmember Nielson has served on the AMWUA Board of Directors since April 2019.
THE HONORABLE THELDA WILLIAMS
Vice Mayor of Phoenix
Thelda Williams has served on the Phoenix City Council since 2008 and previously from 1989 to 1996. She served as Mayor in 1994, 2011 and 2018. Vice Mayor Williams has served on the AMWUA Board of Directors since February 2012.
The AMWUA Board of Directors, along with all the levels of city staff including management, water resources, conservation, communication and finance that meet regularly are dedicated to ensuring reliable, sustainable water supplies for generations to come. This follows the original vision of Mayor Milton Graham of Phoenix, Mayor J.J. Taylor of Mesa, and Mayor Bud Tims of Scottsdale who formed AMWUA back in 1969 to coordinate on water-related issues and planning. After all, water does not flow according to political jurisdictions so collaboration and cooperation on water policy issues are vital for the common good of us all.
For over 50 years, the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association has worked to protect our member cities' ability to provide assured, safe, and sustainable water supplies to their communities. For more information, visit www.amwua.org.
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