Board of Water Commissioners Elect John D. S. Allen Board President

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John D. S. Allen

Long Beach resident John Allen was elected President of the Long Beach Board of Water Commissioners at Thursday’s regular Board meeting. Mr. Allen is beginning the third year of his first full term, having previously served two years of a former commissioner’s unfinished term from 2007-2009. Also elected during the meeting were Paul Blanco, as Vice President, and Suzanne Dallman, as Secretary.

“I want to thank my fellow commissioners for having the confidence in me to elect me as President of the Board of Water Commissioners for a second time” stated Mr. Allen.

Mr. Allen added, “In the next twenty-eight years California is projected to grow by ten million or more people. To make the water work that we have available for Southern California, and Long Beach in particular, we need to conserve water, conserve water and conserve water.”

Commissioner Allen will begin his official duties as President on October 1st. He will take over for outgoing President Frank Clarke, who served in the position during the previous year. Mr. Allen assumed the Presidency a year earlier than expected because Vice President William Townsend resigned his commission seat in August 2012. Mr. Townsend and his family recently moved out of Long Beach, and Long Beach City Charter requires commissioners to be residents of the City.

John D. S. Allen was appointed to the Board of Water Commissioners by Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster in July 2007.
After practicing law for nearly 38 years, the last 26 of which were with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, Mr. Allen retired as Head Deputy of the Public Benefits Fraud Division of the District Attorney’s Office.

He has served on the board of directors of Long Beach Transit, the Long Beach Area Boy Scouts, and the Women’s Shelter. He is also an active member of the Long Beach Bar Association.

Mr. Allen is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles, and received his J.D. from the Hastings College of the Law.

Since 1931, the Water Department has been governed by a Board of five Water Commissioners, each appointed to a five year term by the Mayor, subject to approval of the City Council. The overlapping terms of the Board members provide necessary continuity and bring to the Department the combined expertise of the Commissioner’s business and professional backgrounds. In addition to the five current Commissioners, 54 citizens of the City have served as members of the Board.

The City Charter entrusts the Board with significant responsibility and authority. The Board is charged with full jurisdiction over all water works necessary to the acquisition, treatment, sale, and distribution of water served to the City and is responsible for the collection and disposal of the City’s sanitary sewage. Among other duties, the Board has authority to acquire or sell real property, to construct and operate facilities, to purchase equipment and enter into contracts. The Board establishes the Water Department’s mission and goals, and adopts policies and strategies to meet these ends. The Board submits an annual budget to the City Council, fixes water and sewer rates, hires the General Manager and establishes compensation for all Water Department employees.

For more information on the Long Beach Board of Water Commissioners, visit

Long Beach Water is an urban, Southern California retail water supply agency, and the standard in water conservation and environmental stewardship.

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