What it’s like to be a Commissioner
In 1938, the residents of Clark county voted to form Clark Public Utilities with the goal of keeping the power owned by the public. The opinion and advice of the public is critical to Clark Public Utilities success of providing affordable and reliable electricity and water, but it would be impossible to have every person give their input to the General Manager/CEO. It would take too long and nothing would be implemented.
To keep resources accessible to the community, and to be efficient, a Board of Commissioners is elected by the public. The Board of Commissioners governs the utility. They set utility policy, approves annual budgets, establishes rates, approves major purchases and investments, and selects a General Manager/CEO to oversee the utility operations and staff.
There are three commissioners on the board. Each commissioner represents a specific area of Clark County for a six year term. The public in that area now has a person to share their ideas and opinions with. The public can also attend Commission Meetings held at the downtown Vancouver utility building. The commissioner can campaign for another term once their current term has completed. There are no term limits. You can find the Commissioner’s Districts, and who your Commissioner is here.
The current Commissioners are:
Commissioner Barnes was first elected in 1992 by District 2 in the East County area. She was re-elected in 1998, 2004, 2010 and 2016. Barnes earned a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University in English and journalism. Barnes is a past president of the Washington Public Utility Districts Association and currently serves as our representative to the Northwest Public Power Association and Columbia Springs.
First elected in 2012, Commissioner Malinowski represents District 1 in the North County area. He is currently serving his second term. Malinowski holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Washington State University, a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree in management from Stanford University. He spent 31 years working at Pacific Gas & Electric in roles including manager of transmission planning and manager of power control. He served for eight years as the power utilities technology instructor for Clark College.
Currently, Malinowski participates in the Washington Public Utility Districts Association and is the utility’s delegate to Energy Northwest.
Jane Van Dyke
Commissioner Van Dyke was elected in 2014 and represents District 3, which includes much of the City of Vancouver west of Interstate 205. She previously served as a Clark Public Utilities commissioner from 1984-2002. Van Dyke holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a law degree from the Lewis and Clark School of Law. She has also attended the Evans School of Public Affairs Nonprofit Executive Leadership Institute. With 20 years of experience in nonprofit management, she has worked with the Clark County Volunteer Lawyers and Bar Association, Columbia Springs Environmental Education Center and the Columbia Slough Watershed Council.
Van Dyke now represents the utility on the boards of the Columbia River Economic Development Council and the Washington PUD Association. She also serves as the American Public Power Association representative.
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