(Clifton, N.J. – February 07, 2023) When former Executive Director Joe Bella retired in April 2021, a search commenced for a new executive director of Passaic Valley Water Commission (PVWC) and by February 2022, Jim Mueller began his tenure.
Mueller has a vision for New Jersey’s largest publicly owned water system – investing in people, infrastructure, and systems are the foundation of that vision.
“Over the last year I have worked with the PVWC Board of Commissioners, my senior leadership team, and staff throughout the organization to begin to address the challenges facing PVWC,” said Mueller. “Working together to achieve the common goal of providing the highest quality drinking water, with minimal service interruption to our customers, is our end goal.” Taking the helm at PVWC has not been a cake walk for Mueller. There have been internal and external challenges which he is addressing in true professional style.
Internally, Mueller met with employees and department heads to ensure the right people are in the right positions. He even created new positions to meet his goals for the company. In some instances, Mueller had to hire new people to replace those who either retired or changed career paths.
Externally, Mueller asked his newly formed Communications Department to set up quarterly meetings with the public officials and their staffs in PVWC’s service area to hear their concerns and address issues. “Director Mueller has hit the ground running,” said Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh. “He has proven to be an effective communicator and willing partner to improve customer service at PVWC. Moreover, he has taken the lead on the lead pipe replacement program and is working with me to bring the long-awaited installation of the tanks at Levine Reservoir to fruition,” continued Mayor Sayegh.
Other First Year Initiatives under Mueller include:
- Free Lead Service Line Replacement Program in which customers with lead service lines can get those lines replaced for free by the company
- Low Income Household Water Assistance Program where residential customers with delinquent accounts can get payment assistance
- The awarding of four engineering contracts to commence a study to replace pipe in six retail areas including Clifton stand-alone zones, Clifton/Passaic integrated zones, Paterson/Prospect Park and North Arlington/Lodi areas
- The Nosenzo Pond Treatment facility to remove PFOS from the water
- The preliminary site work that was done at New Street Reservoir in preparation for the closing of the open reservoirs
What do his employees and others think of Jim? Employees at PVWC offices are saying, “he’s a breath of fresh air,” “I love the direction he’s taking the company” and “the clarity he is providing is sorely needed.”
Mueller, who is always striving for more added, “Building off the progress made in 2022 and the new 5-year strategic plan to focus efforts going forward, 2023 will be another year to keep improving and adding value to PVWC. I am confident that we will continue the great work of the company and meet our goals to the benefit of our customers and the communities we serve.”