DAWN WEISZ COULD be one of any number of Marin moms. She lives in San Anselmo, drives her hybrid or rides her bike to work, and is 43 years old with an outdoorsy look and smile that has Marin written
all over it. Tripp, her husband, is a computer
graphic artist at Lucasfilm in San Francisco’s
Presidio; their son Tyler, 13, is into baseball and
jazz; and Hannah, their 10-year-old daughter,
enjoys mountain biking and softball.
As for Dawn, oh yes, in addition to being a
wife, mother, mountain biker and hiker, she’s
the executive officer of Marin Clean Energy
(MCE), the public utility that provides electricity — mostly from renewable sources — to
more than 120,000 homes in Marin County
and the nearby city of Richmond.
The couple moved to Marin in 1994,
and in 2002, while at Marin’s Community
Development Agency, Weisz worked on a community choice energy program as a way of
getting more renewable energy onto the grid.
So when the late Charles McGlashan, a Marin
County supervisor, spearheaded the formation
of Marin Clean Energy, California’s very first
community choice energy program, Weisz was
the logical one to be named its acting executive
director. Amid some controversy, she was confirmed as executive officer in 2009.
When you were named long-term executive
officer of Marin Clean Energy, a controversy
ensued involving claims that your annual salary of $198,000 was excessive for someone
with your experience who’d be managing a
staff of only four. How do you respond now?
A compensation analysis was conducted
prior to the creation of my position based
on comparable positions in the energy and
public utility sector. The salary I now receive,
$248,000, is at the low end for executive
directors throughout the state. My position
at MCE is multifaceted, as MCE currently has
an annual budget of $86 million while serving over 120,000 customers; my job includes
many tasks. Frankly, I think some of the
Marin Clean Energy’s unassuming executive officer touts
its progress. BY JIM WOOD • PHOTOS BY TIM PORTER
In Marin / CONVERSATION