District lays off two employees to save money

Reorganization includes focus on customer service

By Karen Brainard

Two full-time employees of the Ramona Municipal Water District were let go in an effort to reorganize the public agency and decrease costs, said General Manager David Barnum.

“We’re in the process of reorganizing RMWD — increase our focus on customer service and decrease costs to customers,” said Barnum. “We want to be able to provide the most efficient service to our customers.”

Savings are projected to be between $100,000 to $200,000 annually. Barnum said he anticipates the district will save close to the $200,000 figure after reorganizational costs are met.

The positions of administrative assistant and civil engineer were cut, the general manager said. The administrative assitant position was held by Sherry McGarry, and Philip Dauben was civil engineer for the district.

An admin services department has been created that will include public communication and information technology and will be managed by Annette Finley, who will also continue to oversee human resources and risk management, said Barnum. A part-time clerical person will be hired for the admin department, said Barnum.

Some existing employees will be re-positioned, he added, to beef up customer service, which will consist of 3.5 employees and one full-time supervisor.

“It provides us an opportunity for cross-training,” Barnum said of the changes.

RMWD will no longer have any engineers on staff. Dudek and Associates, headquartered in Encinitas, will continue to provide engineering services on an as-needed basis. In July 2011 the water board approved a one-year contract with Dudek for a not-to-exceed amount of $180,000 with services billed on a time and materials basis. Barnum said the outside engineering firm offers flexibility, depth of knowledge and a broad level of services.

With water sales down and costs going up, the general manager said he and staff will constantly look at ways to make the organization more cost-efficient.

   
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