Community Energy Services Gets New Head

By Judith Scherr
Friday March 28, 2008

The Community Energy Services Corporation board voted Wednesday to hire Kim Malcolm, an administrative law judge with 25 years’ working experience at the Public Utilities Commission, as its new executive director.  

She will retire from the commission in mid-April and take up her new post at that time. 

The previous CESC director left after accusations surfaced last year that she had misused funds. The city has hired an outside firm to investigate. 

“What a fit!” commented Tim Hansen, secretary-treasurer of the board. 

The approximately 20-year-old nonprofit has an unusual relationship with the city. Its board is the city’s Energy Commission; each member of the City Council and the mayor make one appointment. The commission meets as the board for about 30 minutes each month.  

Now it looks like the CESC will sever relations with the city, Hansen said. The city and CESC have hired attorneys that are working on the amicable separation. 

“They always said wait until Manuela retires” to sever relations, Hansen said, noting that under present conditions “the board can hardly function.” City Attorney Manuela Albuquerque retired late last year. 

There is no attorney on the board  

and only two board members have experience in nonprofits, Hansen said. “There’s no heavyweight for fundraising, and we can’t recruit board members,” he said. 

CESC is a $2.2 million nonprofit with numerous programs relative to energy conservation, including contracts with Berkeley to do Residential Energy Conservation Ordinance inspections for homes that will be sold and Commercial Energy Conservation Ordinance evaluations for commercial properties being sold. 

Among her qualifications, Malcolm lists experience in state energy efficiency programs, said Ruth Grimes, chair of the Energy Commission. “We’re so excited she’s coming,” Grimes said.