LADWP, community bid farewell to aqueduct manager

Jessica Johnson, LADWP
Staff Writer

After almost 32 years with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) Clarence Martin will be stepping down as aqueduct manager. Deputy Aqueduct Manager Adam Perez will be taking over, come July 1.
Martin has lived in Bishop for 27 of his 32 years with the department, building a legacy of service to the community as a volunteer umpire for Bishop Little League, a youth sports coach and as a longtime member of the Lions Club.
“I have always appreciated and respected Clarence’s desire and ability to put aside differences in order to work on things that are a mutual benefit to the city of Los Angeles and Inyo County,” said Clint Quilter, Inyo County chief administrative officer, who has worked with Martin for six years. “It has allowed us to accomplish a variety of important projects for the community,”
Having previously worked in the water resources and real estate groups at LADWP, Martin was well-equipped to take on the position of aqueduct manager. In fact, according to Martin, it truly was his dream job and he set a course to improve relationships, reestablish trust and help LADWP move in a more positive direction.
One of his goals was to advance LADWP’s policy of divesting of in-town property located in Inyo County.
Martin encouraged LA’s Board of Water and Power Commissioners to amend the policy so that properties would be offered to businesses themselves without a public auction.
“This change really helped build a better working relationship between the department and Inyo County and in the end, can help local businesses thrive,” Martin said about the divestment policy efforts back in March 2019. “I think the policy is moving in a more amicable direction.”
“Throughout his tenure with LADWP, Clarence always strived to strike the balance at being a good ambassador for the department and a friend to the Owens Valley,” said Anselmo Collins, director of Water Operations for LADWP. “People tend to call him the honorary mayor of Bishop. He is a man with a lot of pride and integrity and it has been a pleasure having him head up the aqueduct section, as he is not just a great engineer, but a great person with a big heart.”
Over the last several months, Martin and the rest of LADWP’s aqueduct team have ensured a seamless transition for his successor.
Perez has more than 20 years of experience in civil and geotechnical engineering, overseeing project management of capital improvement projects that include planning, design and working directly with communities to communicate project timelines and objectives. Perez lives in Bishop with his family and is an avid outdoorsman and a fly fisherman.
“I am grateful and honored to have had the opportunity to learn from Clarence on the importance of the aqueduct manager position, and how best to manage the balance between water delivery to the city of Los Angeles and community relationships,” Perez said. “Clarence is a true leader who was dedicated to his work for LADWP and always took the extra step to support the local communities here.”
Martin will formally hand over the reins to Perez on June 30, but will stay on for a period of time to finish up various special projects for the Water Operations Division and ensure a smooth transition before officially retiring in early fall.