Jakeh Roberts

Christmas 2016 with wife AJ, Zeke (8), and Asa (6).

Jakeh Roberts
Operations & Maintenance Division Manager
Department of Public Works
Monroe, WA

Favorite Music

Pearl Jam’s Given to Fly. Bonus: met his wife at a Pearl Jam concert.


The city’s meter-reading system became obsolete, and Monroe (pop: 17,300) wanted something cutting-edge.


The city adopted a system that works wirelessly via two tower bases, broadcasting data to Monroe’s utility billing office. The old system was mounted on a truck that read meters from the street. With the new meter reader, a staffer in utility billing punches up the routes and downloads all the meter data.

If a customer calls to complain about a high water bill, the new system can almost instantly produce a report of water used in the home with hourly reads going back several months.

The city also uses the new system to detect leaks by doing a water-use comparison check every 7 days, a vast improvement over the 30, 60, or 90-day timeframe it took to detect leaks through traditional meter reading cycles. The new system costs a little more, but Jakeh says the improved customer service and ease of billing are more than worth it.

Lessons Learned

“Doing our homework with trusted references really paid off,” Jakeh says.

Jakeh’s Background

Born and raised six miles outside of Monroe. Bachelor’s in sociology from Washington State (’99), currently working toward a masters in public administration. Got a job painting fire hydrants and building recycle containers for the City of Monroe in his sophomore year of college and has worked for the city ever since. Wife and two boys, 8 and 6. Family loves hiking, snowmobiling, dirt bikes, and camping.

Jakeh’s Job

Oversees drinking water, sanitary sewer, streets, stormwater issues, facilities and fleet. Manages three supervisors who take care of day to day operations.

Startling Fact

“If I weren’t doing this, I would want to be a professional snowmobiler.”  

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