The Rainbow Municipal Water District board considered doubling the per diem payment Rainbow directors receive for attending meetings before rejecting the increase on a 3-2 vote Jan. 28.
Jack Griffiths and George McManigle voted in favor of increasing the per diem compensation from $150 to $300. Helene Brazier, Bob Lucy, and Dennis Sanford voted against the higher per diem.
The last per diem increase for Rainbow directors was approved by the board in November 1999 and took effect in January 2000. That increase changed the per diem amount from $100 to $150. In December, Griffiths proposed an increase in the per diem to $300 effective after the November 2014 elections.
Rainbow staff compiled a survey of per diem pay for board members of the 17 water districts who are members of the San Diego County Water Authority, the SDCWA board itself, the Sweetwater Authority joint powers agency, two wastewater district boards in San Diego County, and three southern Riverside County water districts.
The two highest per diem amounts were the $221.43 of the Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District and the $206 for Eastern Municipal Water District directors. The highest 2013 per diem amount for a San Diego County agency in the survey was $200, which is given to directors of the Helix Water District and to Santa Fe Irrigation District board members.
Three of the agencies had per diem increases for 2014, and Yuima Municipal Water District directors will be paid $202 for this year’s meetings after receiving $195 last year. The per diem pay for Fallbrook Public Utility District directors includes an annual escalation clause and rose from $115.76 for 2013 to $121.55 for 2014 meetings. As of March 1, Padre Dam Municipal Water District directors will see a per diem increase from $117 to $128.
Six agencies have $100 per diem policies: Carlsbad (the city’s water district is officially a separate agency, although the Carlsbad City Council members are the water agency directors), the San Dieguito Water District (whose board members are also on the Encinitas City Council), the Otay Water District, the Ramona Municipal Water District, the South Bay Irrigation District, and the Valley Center Municipal Water District. Lakeside Water District directors receive per diem pay of $125.
Four other agencies join Rainbow with $150 per diem amounts: the Olivenhain Municipal Water District, the Rincon Del Diablo Municipal Water District, the Sweetwater Authority (which consists of the South Bay Irrigation District and the City of National City’s water department), and the Vallecitos Water District. SDCWA board members who are not officers receive a per diem of $150 while SDCWA board officers are given $180 for each meeting.
Board members of the North County Joint Powers Authority, which consists of Rainbow and FPUD, receive per diem of $150 per NCJPA meeting, although a non-voting alternate does not receive per diem pay.