Scott Ball / Rivard Report
CPS Energy is seeking applicants for a seat on its board of trustees, replacing the current member whose term expires early next year.
CPS Energy, which has an all-male board, is publicizing the position after the lack of gender diversity on the utility’s board emerged as a concern during the last City Council vote on a new CPS Energy board member in April.
The new board member would replace Homer Guevara Jr., a professor of economics and government at Northwest Vista College, whose term expires on Jan. 31, 2019. Guevara has served on the board since 2009.
Guevara’s district covers the southwest quadrant of the utility’s service area, south of Culebra and Grissom roads and west of Interstate 35 South from downtown San Antonio to State Highway 16 and west of U.S. Highway 281. This includes City Council districts 4, 5, and 6, with some pieces of districts 1, 3, and 7.
The utility’s five-member board will interview a pool of applicants and nominate Guevara’s replacement. The nominee must then be confirmed by City Council vote.
In April, the Council voted 8-3 to confirm former Judson Independent School District Superintendent Willis Mackey, with members Rebecca Viagran (D3), Shirley Gonzales (D5), and Greg Brockhouse (D6) voting no.
On Tuesday, Brockhouse issued a news release highlighting the CPS Energy board’s “lack of a female representative.”
“CPS Energy affects nearly every household in San Antonio,” Brockhouse said. “It is a glaring shortcoming to not have a female voice in the mix.”
In March, Brockhouse argued publicly with two of his female council colleagues when they accused him of gender bias in his questioning of San Antonio Water System board nominee Amy Hardberger.
Brockhouse’s statement Tuesday also called on the utility’s leaders to get as many qualified applicants as possible by advertising the position widely.
CPS Energy’s board of trustees oversees the country’s largest municipally owned utility with a $2.6 billion budget. The utility serves roughly 821,000 electrical customers and 340,000 gas customers in the San Antonio area.
Those interested in applying can download application materials at CPS Energy’s website. Applications are due via email or by mail by 5 p.m. on Sept. 14.
Candidates should be willing to serve up to two consecutive five-year terms and commit 20 hours per month to board meetings, committee meetings, work sessions, and teleconferences, according to the utility’s application materials.
“There are no specific legal requirements for the skills or the kinds of business experience Board members must have,” the document states. “However, discussion among current Board members has led to a consensus regarding the desired experience, knowledge, and skills for future nominees.”
These include a minimum of 10 to 15 years experience in accounting, corporate work, economics, energy, government, information technology or cybersecurity, law, marketing, or real estate.
Except for the mayor, who holds an ex-officio position on the board, CPS Energy board members receive an annual compensation of $2,000.