"Meet the Candidates" is a feature on Southington Patch designed to help you get to know your local candidates before you take to the polls this November. Each profile was submitted directly by the candidate.
Take a moment to review each profile so you can be informed and prepared when you go to the polls this Tuesday, Nov. 8.
Today we take a look at the Southington Board of Water Commissioners. Be sure to come back tomorrow to see the full list of candidate in order of how they will appear on the ballot. It is designed to help you make an informaed decision this election season.
Name: Robert M. Berkmoes
Party, Position Seeking: Democrat, Southington Board of Water Commissioners.
Family Born: Southington, life-long resident; married to Denise Ouellette with two children, Nathan and Andrea; five grandchildren, Destiny, Kaylin, Savannah, Lee and Abigail.
Occupation: Executive Vice President of the James T Kay Co. Meriden Mechanical Contractors, 36 years with the company;
Work and Political Experience: Commissioner for the Southington Board of Fire Commissioners, 2008-2010; Chairman of the Southington Opens Space and Land Acquisition Committee, 2009- Present; Chairman of the Southington Assessment Board of Appeals 2001; Southington Board of Water Commissioners 2001 to Present; Member of the Southington Democratic Town Committee including as a past vice chairman.
Past President of the Mechanical Contractors Association of Connecticut (MCAC), 2009-2011; Member of the MCAC Executive Board; Member of the MCAC Labor Management Committee; Member of the MCAC Negotiating Committee; Committee member of the Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA) Advanced Leadership Committee - Babson College, 2011- Present.
Co Chairman of Local 777 Joint Apprenticeship Committee (JATC) 1986-Present; MCAA and Local 777 Plumbers and Pipe Fitters; Originally started as Local 21, helped to form Local 39 and Local 777 JATC after mergers; Past President of the Associated General Contractors of Connecticut (AGCC) 2009-2011including as a member of the education committee, diversity committee, budget committee and membership committee.
Association of General Contractors of America (AGCA); National Director AGCA 2009- Present; Specialty Contractors Executive Board AGCA 2011- Present; Member of the National Certified Pipe Welding Bureau; Member of the Construction Institute; Recording Secretary of the UA/MSCA Oversight Committee 2002; Member of the American Water Work Association; Director of the Connecticut State Apprentice Council 2010- Present
Robert Berkmoes answered the questions provided in essay form:
I have been serving the Southington Board of Water Commissioners in various capacities, including Secretary/Treasurer, Vice President and President. I have served as Chairman of the Infrastructure Committee, Rules and Regulations Committee among others.
I am committed to oversee a Department that is managed efficiently, utilizes of up to date techniques for present day operations, and plans for the future needs of our Town.
I believe it is important that our infrastructure is intact and operable, that our water supply is managed and protected for future generations.
We have successfully moved our Department from High Street to West Queen Street with the objective to protect Well 1A. This has been done successfully while keeping in mind the importance making the area complementary to the future plans and needs of downtown and the future growth of the Department.
We have taken the responsibility of the residential water service from the street to the curb and offer a protection plan from the curb to the meter. This takes a large financial burden from the homeowner in case of service line breakage.
We have pursued those who damaged our water resource and have worked with our State and Congressional Senators and Representatives to make sure our availability to water is not jeopardized.
I am committed in seeking out grants, low interest loans and other means of securing financing, which we have done in the past, to help build the necessary projects required in providing water to our community.
The Southington Water Department is a very important part of our community. I will continue to work diligently to maintain its ability to provide clean affordable water to our rate payers and citizens of Southington.
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