Sonoma County Water Agency Board of Directors Appoints Assistant General Manager Michael Thompson to Interim General Manager Post


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    August 1, 2017 - For Immediate Release

    CONTACT: Ann DuBay: 707.524.8378 (office), 707.322.8185 (cell), or Brad Sherwood: 707.547.1927 (office), 707.322.8192 (cell),

    Santa Rosa, CA – On Tuesday, August 1, the Sonoma County Water Agency Board of Directors named Assistant General Manager Michael Thompson to serve as the agency’s interim general manager while a national search is conducted to replace outgoing general manager Grant Davis. On July 19, Governor Jerry Brown announced Davis’ appointment to serve as the director of the California Department of Water Resources.

    The Water Agency Board is excited to announce that Mike Thompson will be stepping in as the interim general manager," said Water Agency Board if Directors Chairwoman Shirlee Zane. "Mike's experience and know-how ensures that the agency will continue it's core mission of delivering water to 600,000 people, operating several community sanitation districts, and reducing the communities flood risks."

    Thompson has worked for the Water Agency for 22 years, serving as Assistant General Manager for the past 4 years. His responsibilities include managing the budgets for Water Agency’s water supply, sanitation and flood protection systems, directing the Water Agency’s infrastructure maintenance program, and leading the Water Agency’s strategic planning efforts.

    “Mike is a terrific choice to serve as interim director. He understands all aspects of the Water Agency, has knowledge of both fiscal and operational issues, is a great communicator and has the respect of staff at all levels,” said Water Agency Board Director James Gore. “In addition, Mike isn’t interested in serving as the permanent General Manager. By selecting him as interim, the Board keeps the playing field level for all other candidates.”

    In a closed session on Tuesday, the Board directed staff to conduct a national search for a permanent General Manager, a process that is anticipated to take 4-6 months.

    “The Water Agency has a deep bench of talented managers and the Board has no doubt that there are some great internal candidates,” said Director David Rabbitt. “But the Water Agency has a national reputation for innovative, cutting-edge ideas and practices, and we would like to give outside candidates an opportunity to share their vision for its future.”

    "I appreciate the confidence placed in me by the Board, and I am committed to continuing the collaborative and inclusive culture that has been created under my predecessor," said Mike Thompson.

    Thompson holds master of administration and master of science degrees from the University of California, Davis and a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Power and Water Resources Pooling Authority, which is a publicly owned electrical utility, and is co-chair of the Sonoma County Administrative Management Council. The interim general manager annual salary is $213,768.

    For more information about the Water Agency, go to


    The Sonoma County Water Agency provides water supply, flood protection and sanitation services for portions of Sonoma and Marin counties. Visit us on the Web at


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