Berlin Hires Utility Manager

BERLIN – A new chapter in the ongoing saga of Berlin’s electric utility opened recently with the hire of a new manager.

Dave Thomas, Berlin’s new electric utilities director, started this week. Thomas, an engineer with an MBA, was selected from a dozen candidates for the position.

"What we were looking for was a background in engineering and running a power plant," said Berlin town administrator Tony Carson.

Thomas’ additional business education "is just a plus for us," said Carson.

"He brings us some expertise we’ve been needing for a long, long time," said Mayor Gee Williams.

The electric utility manager will make recommendations on electric utility policies and practices, similar to the work done by Booth and Associates consultants. The town will continue to use Booth but in a more limited capacity.

The town needs someone to put the consultants’ vision into practice, Williams said, which is why Thomas was hired.

"He is able to understand what Booth and Associates is recommending and actually implement those recommendations in terms of the actual operation of the plant and the coordination of the plant with the grid," Williams said.

Prior to coming on board as Berlin’s electric utilities director, Thomas was working on wind energy, with plans to install wind turbines in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Texas. The recession put that project on hold, Thomas said, and he began to think about getting closer to hometown, family and friends.

Town staff briefed Thomas on the utility in Berlin before he officially began work this week.

"I looked at it as a challenge and a good opportunity. These people here want to do the right thing and do a good job," Thomas said.