Water board gives 5 percent merit raise to general manager

By Karen Brainard

Ramona Municipal Water District directors approved a 5 percent merit raise for its general manager, David Barnum, following its annual evaluation of his job performance.

The $8,860 raise increases his base salary from $177,278 to $186,139, effective this month. In addition, the board agreed to increase Barnum’s salary by 3 percent in October 2014, and again in 2015, along with extending his severance benefit from 9 to 12 months.

“The general manager of the RMWD has a big responsibility to keep the district running efficiently. I believe he has met that responsibility, especially during the current recession,” Darrell Beck, board president, said in a prepared statement.

“Because of Mr. Barnum’s efforts to address the current recession and keep the budget flat, we’ve reduced the workforce by 30 percent and reorganized customer service, including the engineering department…along with many smaller cost-cutting measures without reducing the level of service,” Beck said.

DAVID BARNUM Sentinel file photo

Under Barnum’s leadership the district has received nearly $400,000 in grants that were used  for, among other things, an ambulance, recycled water projects and Ramona Community Center, Beck noted.

Referring to Barnum’s services as valuable and innovative, Beck pointed out several projects the district is working on: adding a natural gas pipeline to the Poway Pump station as a secondary power source for emergencies, recycled water projects and rate studies for the Santa Maria and San Vicente sewer plants, the San Vicente Road pipeline replacement in conjunction with the county’s road improvement project, and a possible partnership with the City of Poway to provide a second source of water that could benefit both parties.

The board adopted the amendment to Barnum’s   employment agreement after a closed session during its Oct. 8 meeting. The agreement also states that the general manager shall receive any negotiated cost of living increases received by district employees, and he will contribute the same percentage to California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) as other district employees. Currently they are contributing 3 percent of their salaries to their pensions, said Barnum, and by state law ­— the California Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013 — must contribute 8 percent by 2017.

Last year Barnum received a 2 percent merit raise and, effective Jan. 1, a 4 percent cost of living adjustment under the Ramona Municipal Water District Employees Association’s agreement.

The water board will be negotiating a new contract with the employee association. The employees’ contract expires Dec. 31.

Related posts:

  1. David Barnum is Ramona water board’s choice as general manager
  2. District employees receive 1 percent raise
  3. Water board says No to desalinated water
  4. Water board to consider buying desalinated water
  5. No boil water alerts affect RMWD customers, says general manager

Short URL: http://www.ramonasentinel.com/?p=28079

Posted by Staff on Oct 15 2013. Filed under Featured Story, Government, News, Ramona. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

25 Comments for “Water board gives 5 percent merit raise to general manager”

  1. Don Kedick

    You have got to be kidding me! Let's see… in a "closed session"… 8% effective immediately, 3% next year, and 3% in two years, plus increased severance and automatic cost of living increases? 186K?!?!?
    Recession? What recession? Gee, I wonder why our rates are constantly going up.

  2. Joe

    They keep raising our rates so these water board can get raises when are you kidding me, Almost 9,000.00 dollars, Nobody is worth a that much of a raise when ther are people that are not working due to our Inept Gov.

  3. Guest

    How many people in Ramona got 5% raise?
    Will the new employee contracts be reduced by 5% to accommodate for this?

  4. Guest

    In totally not related news…. expect our water rates to rise another 8%. We have schools going broke and the elitist directors of RMWD vote pay raises. Kids, this is what is called corruption.

  5. Don Kedick

    It's easy to spend other peoples money isn't it Mr. Beck. Next year Mr. Barnum will be making $191,723 and the year after that he will be collecting $197,474. Nice gig you all have going on at RMWD.

  6. So Much Fun

    What other benefits are involved? Medical? Dental? Other insurances?
    Basically, what is the total compensation for this position?
    How many days are the in his contracted work year?
    How many employees does he oversee?

    Just questions I'm curious about.

  7. Dwayne

    How many of you can do his job? Then apply for it and get 197K. Just because his is a GOVT employee does not mean he has to work for free.

    If he can negotiate a good salary for himself, I say go 4 it. Maybe a few of you can do this same for yourselves and quit whining.

    • RenFaiz

      Whaaa! Mommeee! Wake up, grow up, and shut up, loser.

    • Econ101

      Hey Dwayne, the difference is when I negotiate my salary the money I receive comes out of my bosses company. He has a personal vested interest because every dollar I get is one less he gets to keep. With a public entity, the Board is negotiating with OUR money, not theirs. No personal vested interest on their part other than fiduciary responsibility, which this Board obviously does not take seriously. You're probably one of those who whines about his rates but can't even make the correlation between high rates we pay (while we use less) and overpaid district management. This is basic Econ 101 and you can take it at Palomar.

      • TakeBackGovt

        Water Districts do not operate like school districts. Labor costs are a tiny part of the water and sewer costs we pay. We import water thousands of miles to San Diego, a desert. The cost of water for everyone in SD County has doubled in the last 10 years and will double again in the next 10 years because of tiny smelt fish and population growth.

        If you want to cut water costs in So. Cal, contact you Congressman and Senator today and everyday!

      • Dwayne

        So what you are saying is you don't know what you are talking about. Enjoy you nice low paying job. Maybe you should go out and get elected to run the RMWD and do that job for 35K a year?

        Does that sound fair?

  8. Ramona Resident

    At what point will we take action and elect those who truly represent the will of the people? I'd bet if a raise for Mr. Kendrick was put to a vote it would go down in flames. You can give us reasons all day long about why Mr. Kendrick deserved a raise, but the bottom line is our rates continue to go up despite a decrease in our water usage. The board should all be ashamed of themselves, especially you, Mr. Beck. You pontificate on taxpayer rights when it comes to ObamaCare, but when faced with protecting those you represent, you show yourself to be nothing more than a hypocrite.

    • Dwayne

      Why wait for "WE" to take action. Start by going to meetings and inject yourself in this wonderful democracy.

      Elected officials don't care about the "Will of the People". They care about being elected over and over again to wield the power the have and get more.

      • Guest

        Do you mean the 2:00 meetings that those of us with jobs can't attend because we're at work? Some democracy…

        • Dwayne

          Yes…if you want involved, take off work.

          • Marquis Jones

            Yes, Dwayne, us lowly peasants need to submit to the nobility at the RMWD. That worked for during the French Revolution, didn't it? I think we need to dust off the guillotine and phrygian caps to organize a recall election. That is my way of getting involved and I can do it after work!!! So which RMWD manager or board member do you happen to be? Liberté, égalité, fraternité.

          • Guest

            Are you serious? The Board has an obligation to make it convenient for the public to comment. That they do not is proof of their disdain for us. They are nothing short of corrupt and this raise is an example of it. As for you Dwayne, are you an employee of RMWD, a relative of Barnum's, or just a pinhead?

          • Guest

            Based on your exceptional grammar one can surmise that you have a job with a level of responsibility to allow you to attend a 2:00 meeting. Others, and very likely those the mental wherewithal to rebut the RMWD Board, may not. Perhaps this is why the meetings are scheduled for 2:00?

    • Guest

      Who is Mr. Kendrick?

  9. Guest

    After review of the RMWD budget and looking around in southern California, with 50 employees and a budget of over $30M, Mr. Barnum's salary of $186K a year is actually in range. Look at Yuima Municipal Water District's manager, who makes $300K per year, while managing only 8 employees and a budget of $6.9M …

  10. Alte Weiheit

    They hired Barnum as the chief finance officer in 2008. After years of neglect, RMWD was broke and people were screaming for bankruptcy.

    Since 2008 I have read dozens of stories in this newspaper about RMWD cutting costs, laying off employees, winning grants, renegotiating contracts, installing solar and paying off their crippling debt. RMWD is now putting in pipelines in the SDCE, converting from expensive electricity to cheap natural gas and finally hardening their facilities to protect us in the next emergency.

    I have mixed feelings about his pay, but things are definitely better at RMWD now than in 2008.

  11. Donny Z

    I wonder how many posts in support of this raise are from those who are on the board of directors or managers at ramona water district. I can't see anyone in their right mind getting on here and defending these actions other than the mental midgets running the RWD.

  12. Dig A Well

    There are only two things that RMWD does well: 1) Raise Rates and 2) Give themselves pay raises.

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