By Karen Brainard
With the start of a new year and the seating of two new directors on Jan. 8, the Ramona Municipal Water District Board elected its 2013 officer slate that will be headed by Darrell Beck as president. The board also agreed to ad hoc committee appointments and by a 3-2 vote kept the 2 p.m. time slot for meetings.
Meetings are held the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month in Ramona Community Center, 434 Aqua Lane.
Beck, the Division 1 director, most recently served as vice president and has been on the board since 2008.
Director Joe Zenovic, who represents Division 4, was chosen as vice president.
The board elected newcomers George Foote as secretary and Rex Schildhouse as treasurer. Foote won in the November election to represent Division 5, and Schildhouse for Division 3.
Kit Kesinger, elected to the board in 2010, represents Division 2.
Beck will also serve as the RMWD director to the Association of California Water Agencies Joint Powers Insurance Authority’s (ACWA/JPIA), the district’s insurance carrier. The JPIA is a partnership of water agencies that provides risk-sharing pools to help minimize insurance costs. Mike Callahan, RMWD’s Human Resources director, will act as alternate director to the JPIA.
The board reviewed its list of ad hoc committees that are advisory to the board with two directors serving on each committee and working with staff.
“They typically revolve around a specific issue,” said RMWD General Manager David Barnum.
The following appointments were made for ad hoc committees:
•Board of Directors Role During Emergencies—Beck and Schildhouse
•Spangler/San Vicente/San Vicente Road—Zenovic and Foote
•Santa Maria Upgrade—Beck and Zenovic
•Montecito—Kesinger and Schildhouse
•Undocumented Sewer Legislative Code & EDU Charges—Beck and Zenovic
•Ramona Air Center and Community Facilities District—Schildhouse and Zenovic
•Poway Pump Station Power Reliability—Foote and Zenovic
The board eliminated two ad hocs that were no longer considered necessary: the Santa Maria Annexation Committee and the Desalination Project Draft Water Purchase Agreement Committee.
Also discussed was the board’s meeting time. In 2009, the board changed its meeting time from 7:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., and in 2012 moved the time to 2 p.m. by a 4-0 vote with Kesinger absent. Directors said the earlier time slot would save on overtime pay for staff who attend the meetings.
At last Tuesday’s meeting, Kesinger said the board serves the public and is doing a disservice if residents cannot attend. Kesinger said he has heard members of the public complain about the early afternoon meeting time.
Noting his difficulty to attend because of his job, Kesinger said, “I’ve been able to make about 50 percent of the meetings.”
Other board members pointed to a survey of water agencies with most meeting in the morning or afternoon. Beck said that when meetings were held in the evenings, they often ran late.
“I just think that 2 is a good time and we have been getting public participation,” said Zenovic.
Schildhouse, however, supported a later time, noting many Ramonans work outside the community.
“I think it’s inconvenient for the people who should be here,” he said.
Zenovic moved to retain the 2 p.m. time slot, which passed 3-2 with Schildhouse and Kesinger opposing.
Also at the meeting, RMWD staff gave a detailed overview of the water district and its departments as orientation for the two new directors.