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Former water district coordinator hired as general manager of Charbonneau Country Club, neighborhood association

SPOKESMAN PHOTO: COREY BUCHANAN - Jim Meierotto was recently hired as the Charbonneau Country Club general manager. Jim Meierotto has heard Charbonneau residents talk about the gleeful rush they feel when they turn onto Southwest French Prairie Road and enter the Charbonneau community. And during his first three months as the new general manager of Charbonneau Country Club, Meierotto has experienced a similar contented feeling when he arrives at work.

"It was something I noticed right away," he said.

Meierotto replaced Susie Stevens, who held the title of executive director and worked for Charbonneau for 26 years. In the role, he manages the Charbonneau development as well as Charbonneau facilities like the tennis club and the marina.

The Idaho native graduated from University of Idaho and worked for Idaho Power before moving to Grants Pass, where he managed tree-trimming crews for Trees, LLC.

"I love Oregon. I love that the ocean is close by, the greenery and the cooler weather. Coming out here was a natural fit," he said.

In his first gig in Oregon, he developed management and customer relation skills.

"I was running ahead of crews to talk to customers, to let them know what was going to happen and iron out conflicts of interests that arise when you tell someone you're going to cut their trees," he said.

After briefly moving back to Idaho, he began a 14-year stint at Tualatin Valley Water District, where he served as a program coordinator and outreach and engagement coordinator.

Explaining water bills to customers, he said, was one of his most important roles.

"They feel like they're paying for that glass of water, which shouldn't cost that much but in reality you have tons and tons of infrastructure to get that water cleaned and delivered to the house," Meierotto said. "It's pretty complex to try to explain that to someone so they get it and buy into the rates that they pay."

Meierotto said overseeing a water district is similar to managing a country club/neighborhood association in that he will maintain infrastructure and work with a board of directors. At Charbonneau, Meierotto manages the club's fitness center, tennis club, marina, clubhouse and RV yard.

"It's (the water district) very similar to Charbonneau," he said. "You've got all these assets and infrastructure that need to be maintained. You have to have proper financing to make sure that you can do that and you have to work with the community to make sure that's what they want to be done and create education and awareness on what we do."

Soon, Meierotto plans to conduct market research to assess Charbonneau's population, its interests and preferences. Then, he may advocate for changes based on the results.

"I want to get more research and information but things that they have said is the natural beauty here is amazing. It's just a beautiful community, tree-lined streets, it's well cared for, well maintained, low crime rate. It's a very social community," he said.

And he wants to make sure Charbonneau is adaptive to recent and future trends.

"In water we're always looking out 50 or 100 years and I want to bring a long-term approach to Charbonneau," he said.

In his spare time, Meierotto cares for his 7-year-old son and attends car shows. Years back, he restored a 1961 Volkswagen Beetle. He also plays golf, though he said his handicap is too high to approximate.

In his first few months, Meierotto received a crash course lesson from Stevens, acclimated to his daily responsibilities and met community members at events such as Stevens' retirement party and a newcomers party.

"I'm really happy to be here. I've really enjoyed this job, the people I'm working with and this community," he said.

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