The Otay Water District Board of Directors February 6 voted unanimously to appoint Assistant Chief of Water Operations Jose Martinez as the new general manager of the District. The Board announced they will negotiate contract terms and vote on those terms at the March 11 Board meeting.
“Jose will be an asset to the District for many reasons,” said Board President Gary Croucher. “His experience as a nuclear engineer for the U.S. Navy and managing water utility and operations at the District, combined with his leadership on legislative bill AB 1588, will contribute to guiding and leading the District on its already strong path of providing exceptional service to our customers; he will also bring new and innovative ideas to continue enhancing operational practices.”
Jose Martinez: 18 years of progressive management and leadership experience
Martinez has more than 18 years of progressive management and leadership experience in private and public organizations within highly regulated utility industries. He also has managed multimillion-dollar engineering and construction projects for water and wastewater facilities and has a strong administrative and financial management project background. Martinez managed and designed construction projects for SAIC, Incorporated for five years, from 2007 to 2012, prior to working at the District.
Under the direction of Otay’s chief of water operations and the general manager, Martinez served as the assistant chief of water operations since 2014, planning, directing and managing the activities and operations of the department, which includes utility and fleet maintenance and operations of water, wastewater, reclamation, and recycled systems.
“I’m honored to serve as the District’s general manager,” said Martinez. “The District sets an example as a water and wastewater agency, providing outstanding service to its customers. I am proud to lead the organization and take pride in continuing to move us forward, working with our talented employees to achieve the District’s values of integrity, excellence and innovation.”
Martinez brings United States Navy experience to new post
Martinez previously served two years as the District’s utility service manager.
“This is an exciting time for Otay and the water industry,” said General Manager Mark Watton. “Jose’s role at the District will work well with the regional workforce planning and development that is needed in the water industry to replace a wave of retirements and at the same time, positions the District to carry on advancing Otay and the Board’s mission of serving its customers and managing the District’s resources transparently with fiscal responsibility.”
As a military veteran, Martinez also brings his United States Navy experience to the District. He served as a Nuclear Submarine Officer, managing preventive and corrective operations and maintenance of complex systems, including water quality and water treatment. Martinez has a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering with a focus in nuclear energy conversion from the U.S. Naval Academy and holds a minor degree in Spanish.
The Otay Water District and the San Diego County Water Authority recently collaborated to sponsor legislation to increase water and wastewater industry jobs for military veterans. The bill, AB 1588, introduced by San Diego Assemblymember Todd Gloria and Adam Gray of Merced, was signed into law by California Governor Gavin Newsom on October 11, 2019.