Retiring Trustees Leave Legacy of Water Security

Aug. 4 marked the end of an era for SAWS, and three retiring Board members.

Outgoing Board Members

President/CEO Robert R. Puente and Mayor Ron Nirenberg thanked Chairman Heriberto “Berto” Guerra Jr., Vice Chairwoman Pat Jasso, and Assistant Secretary Pat Merritt for their service during the trio’s final meeting.

“In the decade of the 2010s, you have achieved what people for generations thought was impossible for our community — long-term water security,” Nirenberg said.

For nearly a decade, Guerra navigated SAWS through its most transformative years, bringing three new water supplies on line, including the recently completed Vista Ridge pipeline.

“You assured us that if the Board voted on something, you were going to be there to make sure it came to fruition,” Puente told Guerra.

SAWS also achieved the best bond ratings in the utility’s history on Guerra’s watch, resulting in tens of millions of dollars in savings for SAWS ratepayers. Guerra insisted this success
and many others were not his alone.

“It took all of us, every single Board member and every staff member, to get this done,” he said.

Ever the advocate for the most vulnerable in our community, Jasso was lauded for her continuous support of SAWS customer assistance programs during her seven years of service.

“The team here at SAWS has always been willing to help (board members) learn more about water,” recalled Jasso.

And long-time educator Merritt spent her seven-year tenure passionately supporting SAWS education programs.

“Before I joined the SAWS Board, the only thing I knew about water was the water cycle,” said Merritt, adding that we are never too old to learn.

SAWS Trustees are appointed by San Antonio City Council. Three new members are expected to be sworn in at the Board’s September meeting.