Interview with Board candidate Laurie Bennett

We requested email interviews with all Board candidates and sent them all the same questions.  We are posting them in the order received.  Here are Laurie Bennett’s responses, received August 5.

  1. Do you plan to serve for at least a full year if you are elected or reelected.


  1. If you are elected or reelected to this unpaid job, how many hours per average month do you expect to spend on Crestview matters?

Depending on the issues at hand, I would say approximately 12 hrs average per month.

  1. Will you make your email address and/or phone number available to shareholders for direct two-way communications on Crestview policy matters?

If that is necessary, as most communications go to staff and forwarded to the board when requested, I would create a special email for my board position. Giving personal board member emails was retracted years ago because of threats and unproductive, disrespectful communication.

  1. In the past year, how many Board meetings have you missed?


  1. In the past year, what has the Board done best, and what has it done worst?

The board has grown as a team. This takes time as working with different personalities and styles can be a challenge. With the change in board and staff leadership we have taken more time to address many operating issues that have been overlooked or needed change.

  1. What are your views about the Well Site Selection process?

I think it is a good process and well thought out. It is still being studied and worked with and will take more time and energy to do the best we can with all of the variables.

  1. What are your thoughts about at least one of Crestview’s long-term challenges, perhaps including shrinking groundwater allocations, additional wells, aging infrastructure, technology, finances, governance, urbanization, climate change?

Getting Well #7 up and running is a priority, which will take a year +/- after the site selection process has been completed – Procuring a low interest rate, State Revolving Fund loan for financing the new well. -Revising our company bylaws for current-day business applications. – Hiring and keeping qualified water operators.  -Many things can be done to make our water company administrative and water operations more efficient, but change can’t happen all at once. It’s a work in process for the board and staff..

  1. What else would you like shareholders to know about you and your campaign?

I know I have added and can continue to add value to the operations of our water company with my teamwork and business experience strengths. I definitely enjoy working together to help solve problems and oversee the governance of the organization. I’ve learned that the “water business” is very different than most service operations and even more so with a mutual shareholder company. We are fortunate to have the opportunity and means to pump and distribute our own water. I have also learned what reasoning and passions the board and staff have for the operations of the company and have continued to work within what we have as an established operation to offer input on change and better efficiencies.

Currently, as Treasurer of the Board, I have worked with staff and board to make sure our cash accounts were insured and protected from banking industry fallout and to take advantage of higher interest-bearing opportunities on those cash accounts. I worked with staff to pay off the $1.5M loan that was originated to pay for the Well #7 project, in order to strengthen our balance sheet and work towards low-cost loan opportunities with the State Water Board. As one of the check signers of the organization I take my fiduciary responsibility seriously and spend as much time asking questions as needed. I also review staff bookkeeping operations on a monthly basis along with the General Manager to help ensure our checks and balances are complete.

I have not actively run a campaign like some and give a respectful nod to those that have “thrown their hat in the ring”. I will continue on with a position on the board if it is the will of the shareholders, but I am not interested in getting involved in any public drama or criticism of others.

My biography is on the company website, but in summary my background is in the construction industry. I am a key stakeholder in a local multi-generational specialty construction company that operates both union signatory and non-union companies. I have over 35 years of experience in the family business from shop & yard work to branch manager to holding company operations manager.

I focused on Business Management at California Lutheran University where I obtained both my undergraduate degree and followed with an MBA in Organizational Behavior. I have been an active board member for several construction industry and non-profit organizations over the last 35+ years . Most recently I enjoyed a “Demotion” or step-down from my duty as President of the Rotary Club of Camarillo.

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