Bernard R. Lindstrom, above, a retired U.S. Army colonel, had a six-month, $100,000 agreement to be PWSA’s top administrator through Sunday. While the PWSA continues to negotiate with Mr. Lindstrom to extend his contract, Robert Weimar will oversee day-to-day operations at the troubled authority, according to a spokesman.
By Adam Smeltz / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority is negotiating with its interim executive director, Bernard R. Lindstrom, in an effort to extend his appointment there, spokesman Will Pickering said Wednesday.
Mr. Lindstrom, a retired U.S. Army colonel, had a six-month, $100,000 agreement to be PWSA’s top administrator through Sunday. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In the meantime, Mr. Pickering said, Robert Weimar is overseeing day-to-day operations at the troubled authority. Mr. Weimar is PWSA’s interim director of construction and engineering.
“We seem to have one disaster after another, so these interim executive directors have been working 80-hour weeks and don’t want to continue the job,” said Deborah Gross, a PWSA board member and city councilwoman. “I’m beginning to wonder if it should be two jobs.”
In an interview Tuesday, Ms. Gross said the authority needs consistency and is “really grateful that [Mr. Lindstrom] signed on for six months.” She said the PWSA board has made several efforts to keep him in the job.
PWSA has counted four directors since late 2015, according to a performance audit by city Controller Michael Lamb’s office. The authority is confronting entrenched problems such as infrastructure failures, customer service difficulties and elevated lead levels.
Crises during Mr. Lindstrom’s tenure have included a 10,000-gallon-a-minute leak from a crucial water main, along with a flush-and-boil advisory that lasted roughly two days for some 100,000 customers.
Mayor Bill Peduto’s administration is exploring options to restructure PWSA and strengthen its services.
Adam Smeltz: 412-263-2625, firstname.lastname@example.org, @asmeltz.
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