Lizama: would bring electrical experience

Ben Lizama Jr. is running for one of three openings on the Kaua’i Island Cooperative Utility board of directors.

Editor’s note: This is one of a series of stories on the seven candidates for three seats on the Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative board of directors. Members have been mailed out ballots, which include a voter guide. Ballots are due to KIUC headquarters in Kukui Grove Village West by 4 p.m. March 18.

He was nominated by gathering 35 signatures of members on member petitions.

He is one of seven candidates who are running for three openings. The three openings have terms of three years.

Lizama quipped that he is not running to be on the KIUC board because of the money.

According to KIUC’s bylaws, board members are paid stipends of $150 a day, or a portion thereof, to conduct board business.

Although the Kapahi resident is retired, Lizama was appointed to the county’s Real Property Tax Division Board of Review last year, for a three-year term.

The review board deals with appeals from property owners who disagree with the tax-assessed value of their properties.

Lizama indicated that being on the review board is very interesting work.

He said he is running for a seat on the KIUC board to see if he can help the board members make decisions.

“I think the board and KIUC are doing a very good job. As I get more familiar with the board’s functions and duties, I can maybe help in some of the decision-making process,” he said.

Lizama was born and raised on Kaua’i.

He went to school at St. Catherine School in Kapa’a, and St. Louis High School on O’ahu, then moved to California and went to California Polytechnic State University.

He graduated from Cal Poly with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.

He worked for General Electric Co., and has been involved in energy programs throughout his career.

Lizama moved back to Kaua’i in 2000.

A director is one of nine elected representatives of the members of KIUC who collectively constitute the board of directors, according to the KIUC bylaws.

Members of the board govern the business and affairs of KIUC, and are generally concerned with the broad courses of action to be followed by the utility, and not involved in the day-to-day utility operations, the bylaws state.

If elected to become one of the nine members on the KIUC board, Lizama pointed out that he will work with everybody on the board.

“I am looking forward to working with everyone to see where our co-op goes,” he said.

Lizama was an electrical engineering supervisor for the Lost Hills Water District, Belridge Water and Sewer District, Berrenda Mesa Water District and Cawelo Water District for around 22 years.

Visit www.kauaiworld.com and scroll down to the online poll to weigh in on who you think is the best candidate in KIUC’s upcoming board election. Check Sunday’s Forum page for The Garden Island’s endorsements.

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