Politics & Government

New boss for Tacoma Water hired from Virginia waterworks

A 17-year employee of the Newport News Waterworks in Virginia will oversee Tacoma Water’s operations starting in early October, according to a news release from Tacoma Public Utilities.

Scott Dewhirst, currently the assistant director of the Virginia provider of water to more than 400,000 people, will be superintendent at Tacoma Water, which serves about 330,000. Both public utilities have annual budgets in the $90 million vicinity.

Scott Dewhirst Tacoma Public Utilities Courtesy

Outgoing Tacoma Public Utilities director Bill Gaines praised Dewhirst’s “personable, outgoing management style” and technical expertise in the press release. Gaines will work with Dewhirst for about two months before he retires in December.

Dewhirst’s proposed salary at the Tacoma water provider will be $198,120, TPU spokeswoman Chris Gleason said. The utility has not finalized that amount.

At Newport News, where he had been interim director from 2015 until earlier this year, the Waterworks director makes $154,000, according to a news report.

Dewhirst has two degrees from Virginia Tech: a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a master’s degree in environmental engineering. He has worked for the Newport water provider since 2000.

He replaces Linda McCrea, who had held the job from 2010 until she retired April 1. Her salary for 2016 was $211,435.

Derrick Nunnally: 253-597-8693, @dcnunnally