The Cachuma Operation & Maintenance Board (COMB) on Monday announced the appointment of Randall M. Ward to the position of General Manager of the agency. Mr. Ward was selected at the conclusion of a nationwide search and will assume responsibility for COMB operations on August 1,
“Mr. Ward has demonstrated exceptional skill running complex public agencies. The COMB Board is delighted to be bringing such a capable executive to the organization and we look forward to working with him,” said Board president Lauren Hanson.
Mr. Ward will report to the COMB Board of Directors and be responsible for the overall operation and maintenance of Cachuma Project facilities from Lake Cachuma to Carpinteria, including the vital South Coast Conduit, which conveys water to four of COMB’s member water agencies serving over 200,000 residents and agricultural, commercial and institutional water users. Mr. Ward will also oversee implementation of fisheries projects and programs on the Santa Ynez River and interactions with regulatory authorities at the local, state and federal level.
Mr. Ward comes to COMB from, most recently, the California Department of Finance where he specialized in local government legislation and finance.
Mr. Ward’s resume includes experience as Executive Director of the California Energy Commission, Director of the California Department of Conservation and Director of the California Office of the Insurance Advisor. He was also a principal with the consulting firm, California Environmental & Resource Associates, and a consultant to Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Mr. Ward earned his Bachelor of Business Administration at California State University, San Jose and his
Masters of Public Administration at California State University, Long Beach.
“I am excited to take on this work at COMB,” said Mr. Ward. “COMB fulfills a critical public function. It’s my job to see that we interact positively with multiple other entities—from local landowners, to the County of Santa Barbara and the federal Bureau of Reclamation—and I look forward to building on all of those relationships. I’m also eager to get to work with COMB Board and staff, and with COMB’s five member agencies,” said Mr. Ward.
The Cachuma Operation & Maintenance Board is a California Joint Powers Authority formed in 1956 pursuant to an agreement with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to operate and maintain the Cachuma Project and appurtenant facilities. The COMB member agencies are the Carpinteria Valley Water District, City of Santa Barbara, Goleta Water District, Montecito Water District and Santa Ynez River Water Conservation District-Improvement District No. 1.