by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer
Two area residents are vying for a soon-to-be-vacated seat on the board of commissioners of the Sewanee Utility District of Franklin and Marion counties. Doug Cameron and Paul Evans are seeking election to the commissioner seat currently held by Karen Singer. Singer is term-limited and cannot seek re-election. Voting continues through Jan. 23 at the SUD office, 150 Sherwood Rd., during regular business hours. All SUD customers are eligible to vote. Brief bios on the candidates follow.
Doug Cameron previously served two four-year terms on the Sewanee Utility District board, five of the eight years as president. His last term ended in January 2012. During his tenure, SUD weathered the devastating 2007 drought and built a new water plant.
“I’m fascinated with the SUD constructed wetlands project,” Cameron said, “and with trying to deal with growth, especially drought planning.”
Highlighting challenges faced by SUD, Cameron cited the need for updating and addressing leaks in SUD’s wastewater collection system. He also pointed to unaccounted for water loss as an area that needed additional attention.
“The new, more efficient meters SUD installed a few years ago got rid of some of the problems,” Cameron observed, but advocated further remedial efforts.
Raised in Sewanee, Cameron attended college at Harvard University.
“My dad said we had to leave for college,” Cameron joked.
Although he majored in clinical psychology and social anthropology, he took electives in the physical sciences whenever he got a chance and logged more than 100 hours in biology and chemistry.
After traveling a few years as campground guides, Cameron and his wife Ann returned to Sewanee.
“I’ve been a teacher or run outdoor programs ever since,” he said.
Cameron has been a SUD customer since 1970. He currently lives on Can Tex Drive in the Jump Off community. He is also a member of the Sewanee Volunteer Fire Department.
Paul Evans’ accounting background led to a career managing a socially responsible investment fund where water technology played a key role. The Adirondack Fund’s mission was to generate economic activity in economically depressed areas while preserving the nature of the place.
“I spent 20 years looking at water technology,” Evans said, “primarily technology that cleaned water and technology used in wastewater treatment.”
A SUD customer for the past five-and-a-half years, Evans lives just four doors down from Sewanee Elementary.
“The potential development proposed by the University’s Sewanee Village Plan has heightened my concern about the cost-effective delivery of safe and clean drinking water,” Evans stressed. “As a business person with experience serving on boards, I think I can make a knowledgeable and responsible contribution to help SUD address the growth challenges it faces.”
Raised in Pittsburg, Pa., Evans frequently visited his mother’s family in McMinnville as a child. He returned to the Plateau several years ago to care for his mother, and met and married Sewanee native Katherine Alvarez.
Evans earned a degree in accounting from Empire State College in New York. An eight-year stint as a documentary film producer for Vermont Public Television taught him about lighting and led to his current career. Evans and his business partner formed the company Adaptive Landscape Lighting, pairing the concepts of energy efficiency, utility and beauty.