The San Diego County Water Authority announced today that it has hired Sandra Kerl as deputy general manager. Kerl, currently serving as La Mesa’s city manager, will join the Water Authority on November 30.
“Sandy brings to the Water Authority more than 25 years of progressively responsible experience in all aspects of municipal management,” said Water Authority General Manager Maureen Stapleton. “Throughout her career she has developed strong skills in strategic leadership, fiscal management, and staff development. Given the water challenges we face, these qualities are absolutely essential to help our organization succeed in its mission of providing a safe, reliable water supply for our region’s more than 3 million residents and $171 billion economy.”
Kerl’s responsibilities will include overseeing the Water Resources department, which handles regional water supply and recycled water planning, facilities planning, and environmental management. She will also be in charge of the Water Authority’s Water Conservation, Finance, Administrative Services and Human Resources departments.
She will replace Deputy General Manager Paul Lanspery, who is retiring in November.
“I look forward to joining the Water Authority, because water issues are at the heart of how our region will move forward,” Kerl said. “The Water Authority has done monumental work since the early 1990s to enhance the reliability of our water supply. Although the challenges for meeting San Diego County’s needs are escalating, out of adversity comes a lot of innovation. We need to continue taking advantage of our opportunities to secure San Diego County’s water future.”
Kerl has served as La Mesa’s city manager since 2003. She is the city’s chief executive and administrative officer and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the city’s government, which serves a population of 56,000. She has spent the last 22 years working for the city of La Mesa, starting as an administrative analyst and working her way up to Assistant City Manager in 1998.
Under Kerl’s management, the city of La Mesa has won two Helen Putnam Awards from the League of California Cities, including one this year for the city’s “Ready, Set, Live Well” community wellness initiative. The awards recognize outstanding efforts and innovative solutions by city governments in a variety of program categories.
“Sandy has shown she knows how to manage improvements to infrastructure and public services, engage the community to build support for vital projects and programs and forge innovative public-private partnerships, all while keeping her organization on a secure long-term financial footing,” Stapleton said. “She will be a valuable addition to our executive team.”
Kerl holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Redlands. Prior to working for the city of La Mesa she spent four years as an administrative analyst for the County of San Luis Obispo.
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