After serving as Lodi Electric Utility’s director for eight years, Liz Kirkley retired in December.

Hired in 2010, Kirkley became the first woman to hold the position. She took over the department on the heels of the recession and helped place the department in firm financial footing during her tenure.

Prior to Kirkley’s arrival, the city was struggling to stabilize utility rates in a volatile energy market and some residents even advocated selling the electric utility. Kirkley did not think a sell-off was in Lodi’s best interest, believing it would have given bureaucratic entities control over the local market.

Kirkley led the department through major expansion projects and helped diversify the city’s power sources in the face of state mandates, calling for more renewable energy.

Although there is more work to be done as Lodi braces the transition, she believed that by being a member of Northern California Power Agency that Lodi was taking steps in the right direction to stay on trend with new technology and meet state renewable standards.

Kirkley once told the News-Sentinel that her main goal as the department’s director was to provide the city with safe, reliable power at the least possible cost. Efforts to reach her for this story were unsuccessful and attempts to reach city officials about Kirkley’s departure were unsuccessful.

The city has posted a job opening for the vacant position, with a listed salary of $179,635 a year.

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