The executive director of the much-criticized is stepping down at the end of this year.
Pasquale DeLise called all of the members of the BCWA board of directors after first contacting John Jannitto, chairman of the board, last Friday, Aug. 5, to let them know of his decision.
Jannitto said that DeLise also showed him a draft of a resignation letter that he planned to send to all of the directors over last weekend announcing and explaining his decision.
Jannitto said he had not received the resignation letter by Monday afternoon so he could not comment on it. But he said he is sure that the recently completed performance audit of the BCWA, which pinpointed a host of management issues, was a catalyst.
“I’m sure that the audit had a lot to do with it,” Jannitto said.
DeLise could not be reached for comment on his decision by early Monday evening.
Jannitto said DeLise’s end-of-the-year resignation “will help take the load off the board,” which is facing calls from critics for the executive director’s termination.
“It will give us a chance to explore a new direction,” the chairman said. “Maybe we can get someone who is more responsive to people.”
A significant criticism of DeLise over his more than 20 years with the water authority has been his public relations skill. At the same time, DeLise has been widely praised for his engineering talent.
“I believe he is perhaps the most knowledgable person in his field,” said Jannitto. “Someday he will be remembered for all the good things done.”
In particular, said Jannitto, the cross-bay pipeline built during DeLise’s tenure provided Barrington, Warren and Bristol with better and more abundant water than ever. The days of odd-even rationing and poor tasting water disappeared after the water started flowing through the pipeline to the East Bay.