Board Member Job Description

Organization

The Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA) is a public, non-profit agency, designated by the NC General Statutes as a special purpose unit of local government, to provide water, sewer and reclaimed water services to the Chapel Hill-Carrboro community. OWASA is governed by a nine- member Board of Directors. 

Mission Statement

We are a community-owned utility providing our customers high quality and reliable water, wastewater, and reclaimed water services through responsible and creative stewardship of the resources we manage.

Board Appointments

Appointments to the OWASA Board of Directors are made by the Chapel Hill Town Council (appoints five); the Carrboro Board of Aldermen (appoints 2); and the Orange County Board of Commissioners (appoints 2). Board members serve staggered three-year terms, subject to the power of each appointing body to remove its appointees with or without cause.  

Local government appointment information is available at:

Board Authority

The Board of Directors is solely responsible for the governance of OWASA, and acts in a fiduciary position with respect to the entire service community. Its primary duties include establishing policy to assure that OWASA accomplishes its statutory mission and complies with its contractual and other legal duties, including sole responsibility for adopting budgets, rates, fees and charges. The Board is responsible for hiring of the Executive Director, General Counsel and Auditor. 

Board Member Responsibilities

  • Must take an Oath of Office to discharge faithfully the duties of his/her office, to abide by the constitution and laws of the United States and of North Carolina, and to exercise his/her best judgment as a member of the Board of Directors. 
  • Regularly attend Board and Committee meetings. 
  • Each Board member should prepare for and participate fully in an effort to contribute his or her knowledge and skills to the collective deliberations of the Board, to the end that the Board’s decisions and policies are the product of nine members’ efforts, skills, and experiences, and thus stronger by way of the Board’s deliberative process, and thus more assuredly in the best interest of the organization.
  • Must vote and shall not be excused from voting except on matters involving consideration of his/her own official conduct, or where his/her financial or personal interests are involved; must disclose potential conflicts of interest, and may ask the Board of Directors to recuse him/her from duty to vote based upon conflict of interest.
  • Must be aware and abstain from any conflict of interests. 
  • Keep an open mind, deliberate together, and foster a positive working relationship with other Board members and staff, and take care to act in compliance with Open Meetings and Public Records Laws.
  • Acts in a position of trust for OWASA’s current and future customers and for the community and other stakeholders. 
  • Have a genuine interest in OWASA’s continued success.

Board Member Time Commitment

The OWASA Board meets on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month starting at 7:00 P.M. The first meeting of the month is held in the OWASA Community Room (400 Jones Ferry Road in Carrboro) and the second meeting of the month is normally held in the Council Chambers at Chapel Hill Town Hall (405 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Chapel Hill).  The Board of Directors does not meet the fourth Thursdays of November and December due to the holidays.  Preparation for Board meetings may entail one to two hours of document review (50-100 pages).

Board members are also expected to serve on one or more Standing Committees of the Board. The number of Committee meetings can vary greatly, but there are generally one or two different committee meetings per month.

Board Member Compensation

Board members receive $50 compensation for attendance at each Board Meeting, Special Meeting, Work Session, and Standing Committee meeting of the Board. In lieu of a meeting attendance payment, the Board Chair receives a $250 monthly stipend regardless of the number of meetings attended.

For More Information

For more information about the organization, please contact  the Clerk to the Board at 919-537-4217 or Andrea Orbich.