Here's some good news - great news really: Real Estate Manager and Counsel for the El Paso Water Utilities, Lupe Cuellar, will replace General Counsel, Robert "Bob" Andron. Mr. Andron officially retires tomorrow, May 29, 2015. Ms. Cuellar takes over as General Counsel on Monday, June 1, 2015.
Cuellar has been a strong advocate for open space and conservation while remaining fair to other stakeholders. elpasonaturally was happy when she was put in charge of open space acquistions. She proved to be hugely successful with her negotiations for open space purchases. Following the direction of CEO, John Balliew, Ms. Cuellar put together a team and crafted a new and environmentally-sensitive wildlife and vegetation policy for the utility. She has also kept in mind the interests of petitioners and the compromise known as the Northwest Master Plan and elpasonaturally believes that she and Balliew were instrumental in saving that master plan from a potential threat to submarine it.
On the other hand, elpasonaturally has been critical of Mr. Andron particularly regarding an attempt to enforce a gag rule on PSB members following an objection by then PSB member, Rick Bonart, over a donation to the College of Engineering at UTEP. Dr. Richard Schoephoerster is the Dean of that college and the Chairman of the PSB.
Lupe Cuellar has a Master of Arts from Texas Tech University and a JD from the University of Texas at Austin. She was the Assistant City Attorney for the City of El Paso from 1996 until 2012 (over 16 years of service). She then became the Real Estate Manager and Counsel for the EPWU.
Andron is out. Cuellar is in. "God's in his heaven; all's right with the world." Well, at least this corner of that world.