What sad news this morning. Everyone I know in Colorado water is saddened by the news out of Hawaii this morning. I didn’t know Mr. Barry well but it’s safe to say that he was mentioned many times here on Coyote Gulch. Here’s a report from 9News.com (Dan Boniface). From the article:
The chief executive officer of Denver Water, Hamlet “Chips” Barry was found dead Sunday underneath a tractor on his farm, less than a month after his replacement at Denver Water was named.
The Honolulu Advertiser says Hawaii County firefighters found the 66-year-old man dead under his tractor on Paauilo Mauka Road at [7:45 p.m.] and used airbags to extricate his body.
Last month, Barry announced his plans to retire after 19 years. The Denver Board of Water Commissioners said Jim Lochhead would take over in June. Lochhead has represented the state of Colorado and a coalition of major water utilities and districts, including Denver’s, on interstate issues arising from the Colorado River.
Barry was a Denver native who graduated from George Washington High School in 1962. After graduating from Yale in 1966 and earning a law degree from Columbia in 1969, Barry went on to volunteer in Alaska, before working as a law clerk in Denver.
Here’s the release from Denver Water (Stacy Chesney):
Denver Water Manager Chips Barry was killed in a fatal accident Sunday afternoon on his farm in Hawaii.
“We are greatly saddened by the news,” said Penfield Tate, president of the Denver Board of Water Commissioners.
Barry, 66, was the manager of Denver Water for 19 years and had planned to retire this summer. Bob Mahoney, Director of Engineering, will be acting manager until Jim Lochhead, who was named as Barry’s successor, takes the post.
Barry was a Denver native who attended Denver Public Schools, graduating from George Washington High School in 1962. He graduated cum laude from Yale College in 1966 and earned a law degree from Columbia University Law School in 1969. Prior to his position at Denver Water, he was the executive director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources for Gov. Roy Romer from 1987 to 1990. He was named manager of Denver Water in January 1991.
During his tenure at Denver Water, the utility implemented a conservation program that is nationally and internationally recognized as a model of success, built a recycled water distribution system, invested millions of dollars in improvements at its treatment facilities, monitored recovery from several devastating wildfires in Denver Water’s watershed and led the work to recover from one of the worst droughts in the city’s history. The 1997 Integrated Resource Plan, which details Denver Water’s long-term water supply plan, was adopted under Barry. He also was very active in regional cooperative efforts to open up new relations and continual dialogues among water providers throughout Colorado, and in national efforts dealing with global climate change, water infrastructure funding and regulations concerning transfer of water from one basin to another.
Grief counselors are being made available to Denver Water’s 1,100 employees.
This is all the information available at this time. Local authorities are investigating the accident.