Seattle City (spot)Light: Tomas Todd

Electrical Construction and Maintenance Supervisor Tomas Todd (aka T. Todd) just celebrated 20 years with Seattle City Light. Based at the utility’s North Service Center, his role encompasses the prioritization of the Relay Unit’s projects and support to the Distribution, Transmission and Power Production electrical systems. This includes Relay testing to meet the North American Electrical Reliability Corporation’s (NERC) compliance regulations.

This week, we shine the (spot)Light on Tomas for his previous occupation: 21 years of service with the United States Navy Seabees. “They told me that the ‘Navy is not just a job, it’s an adventure’ and I wanted to see the world,” said Tomas. And see the world he did—from the tropical region of the Marianas Islands to the arid countries of South East Asia and North Africa.

Tomas still serves his community today. Involved with local causes in Edmonds, he’s spent the last 12 years on the 4th of July planning committee and serves on the Coast Guard Auxiliary.  “You know what the Navy stands for? Never Again Volunteer Yourself,” he joked. “But I can’t help it. I enjoy working with others.”

Tomas diving the deep blue sea.

“Everyone thinks the Navy is ships, submarines and aircrafts, but I was in the occupational 13 field as a Constructional Electrician, responsible for the electrical power production, transmission and secondary supply. There are approximately 7,500 Seabees assigned worldwide. The Seabees was formed during WWII to provide horizontal, utility and vertical construction in times of conflicts and contingencies, something that today is ongoing in a few parts of the world. During peacetime, the Seabees provide civic action support throughout the world. Most recently, they completed building schools in Ethiopia and Honduras, as well as humanitarian assistance to several other areas.”

“The military is probably the most diverse organization. People come from all over—it’s a mix of ages, social areas, ethnicities and religious backgrounds. It exposed me to different ways of life which allowed me to understand and experience other ideas. I think the Navy was part of my success in being a people person. I like to learn about people’s ideas, thoughts and cultures, especially when it comes to food, languages and traditions.”

“I always wanted to come to Seattle. I liked the idea of everything being green—it’s the Emerald City! I also like the ocean. I’ve dived most of my life, even in the Navy. I decided to drop my anchor here because it had the best opportunities for me.”

“I try to dive a couple times a month and take advantage of being close to the Puget Sound and Canada. I also taught diving at my local dive shop and dove Alki beach often. Diving is great pastime because it allows you to explore a different environment that isn’t seen every day. It also changes with the time of year which brings different species of flora and fauna. Underwater photography is a great way to capture these dives and can be shared with others or kept as mementos. The most interesting critter I’ve encountered in these waters was a Giant Pacific Octopus.”

Tomas, we salute you for 21 years of service to our country! We also thank you for your contributions to your community, the City of Seattle and all over the Pacific Northwest.

April Volunteers Live Up to Public Service

Public service means just that, serving the public. This April, dozens of City Light employees put the walk in the talk, volunteering their own time to restore sensitive river waterfront and to rehabilitate the home of an elderly Korean War veteran.

On April 19, City Light employees returned to the Duwamish River to help with cleanup and restoration of the river’s shoreline, teaming up with the group Forterra. Volunteers removed weeds, mulched, worked on irrigation and erosion controls, and made other important improvements to the Duwamish Hill Preserve  in Tukwila.

The preserve is part of a larger regional effort to restore habitat and to clean up the Duwamish River and waterway. This marked the third consecutive year that City Light contributed to the Earth Day Duwamish clean up.

Then on April 26, City Light and McKinstry volunteers added a little sweat equity to the home of an elderly man in Ballard as part of this year’s Rebuilding Together Seattle project. Volunteers tore off and replaced back and front porches at the home, fixed plumbing and wiring, landscaped the yard, installed a new washer and kitchen stove, painted, and removed debris and trash. The owner of the home, an Air Force Korean War veteran and English literature teacher, also received a new bed and a framed and signed historical picture of his house. All the work was completed in less than a day.

The home in Ballard was one of 25 different rehabilitation projects sponsored by Rebuilding  Together Seattle this year.