News

12/12/2007 Deaton retires, and Nahai takes the helm
The Los Angeles City Council has confirmed H. David Nahai's appointment as new general manager for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

Mayor Villaraigosa announced his appointment of Nahai, who served as a Board of Water and Power commissioner for two years, this October, after Los Angeles Department of Water and Power general manager Ron Deaton announced that he would be retiring from his position in December. Nahai's appointment required approval by the City Council.

Deaton, who worked with the City of Los Angeles for 42 years, made a reluctant decision to retire after several months of medical leave with heart problems.

"The challenges over the last several months are surpassed only by the difficult decision to retire from service in the City I hold so dear," Deaton wrote in a letter to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. "....Most recently, it was a distinct pleasure to focus my energies at the place where my City Service began--The Department of Water and Power."

Nahai has visited the Owens Valley several times to consider local water policy issues during his service as a DWP commissioner, and has garnered a reputation locally for detailed knowledge of the issues and for a patient--but wary--ear for residents' comments and questions.

He has gained a reputation for pithy and humorous observations as well, such as his rewording of William Mulholland's 1913 speech regarding the diversion of the Owens River.

"There it is," Nahai said at the Owens River rewatering ceremony in 2006. "Take it back."

--Ceal Klingler

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