Terry Pyle took the vacant Grant Public Utility District (PUD) Commissioner seat in late October after the previous commissioner, Dale Walker, died.
Pyle said he is enjoying the position and is excited to continue to work with the other commissioners for many years to come.
“It’s pretty exciting, I’m excited to be where I am,” said Pyle.
Because Pyle took over the term left by Walker, his term ends in December of 2022 if he does not run for election. Pyle said he intends to run to keep his seat and he made that clear during his interview process with the PUD. He said he wants to be with the PUD for the long haul. He explained the time and effort it will take to fully understand the position to only be in it a year would be wasteful.
“I would think it would be a terrible waste to make the effort to get up to speed and only do this for a year; it’s going to take at least that long to get really up to speed,” said Pyle.
If elected, Pyle will be in the position until 2028, as it’s a six-year term.
Pyle said he never thought he would run for an office in any form of city government or higher. He heard about the open position and confided in his wife he was thinking about applying for it. His wife, along with a few other people Pyle trusted, encouraged him to apply.
Pyle said he didn’t have any specific goals in terms of numbers when taking the position, but he wants to continue to support the PUD in its forward motion. He hopes it can continue to not only keep up, but get ahead, in its projects.
Pyle said he feels like what he brings most to the commission is his experience in business analysis. He said that the quantity of information the PUD collects and uses to improve its operations and services was somewhat of a surprise. He said he still has a lot to learn on the energy, electricity and power and daily operations side, but he is comfortable with the business side.
Pyle is also an instructor at Big Bend Community College. He teaches classes in economics, business and agriculture management. He is heavily involved in building the new bachelor of applied science degree at the college, as well.
Pyle grew up in the Columbia Basin, with his family moving to Moses Lake in July 1966 from Klamath, California, when he was 8. Klamath was a very small town in the northwestern tip of the state, he said.
“We lived right at the mouth of the Klamath River, in the middle of the redwood forest. Moving from the redwoods to sand and sagebrush was a shock, but Moses Lake became home,” said Pyle.
Pyle attended Garden Heights Elementary School, Chief Moses Middle School and Moses Lake High School, graduating in 1976. After graduation, Pyle served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Chile. He returned home from his mission in 1979 and met his wife Susan, an Ephrata native. Pyle went on to attend Brigham Young University (BYU) and graduated in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics.
Pyle said he found himself always coming back to the Basin even though he moved away for short periods to attend college and for a job with Boeing. Pyle said he worked for Boeing for a couple of years mostly on parametric estimation projects. While there, Pyle married Susan in 1988. Pyle said Boeing encouraged him to further his education, so he attended Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) in Tacoma, completing his master of business administration degree in January 1990.
“My wife grew up in Ephrata and it was our goal to get back to the Basin. We found a job in the agricultural sector and we were back in Moses Lake about a month after graduating and we have stayed put,” said Pyle.
Pyle and his wife have six children, all of whom went through school in Moses Lake. Pyle said Susan told him recently this school year is the first time in 30 years they have not had a child attending school in the Moses Lake School District.
“My life has been spent in this area and I love it here. I want it to continue to progress and do well so I want to be a part of all of that,” said Pyle.