Per diem increase rejected at RMWD; proposal was to increase from $150 to $300

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.

7 Responses to "Per diem increase rejected at RMWD; proposal was to increase from $150 to $300"

  1. Lee   February 27, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    Wow! Think about it, folks. These, aah, shall we say lovely people actually considered giving themselves a raise in (A) these tough economic times, (B) in this drought, and (C) WITHOUT the consent and vote of THE PEOPLE. Oh, and by the way, folks, did you catch that little bit about the increase being . . . 100% while, oh you know, we are told that our inflation rate is around 3%?! Did you catch that, folks? Anybody ticked off like me?

    Maybe, juuuuuuuuust maybe, they are starting to feel the heat. Good.


    PS. Why and how do "employees" of a municipality get a pay anyway? Isn’t a municipality in existence to NOT make money?!

  2. nickycc   February 27, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    sounds as if griffiths and mcmanigle are greedy. this mindset has helped lead to rainbow water being much higher than similar districts.

  3. BB   February 27, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    Inflation since 1999 is only 3%? Municipalities are not supposed to pay their labor??

  4. DR DR   February 27, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    Per diem is not a laborer and not on the payroll. It’s a check for the time one spent traveling and sitting for a meeting. $150 for a day, even if they sat for 2 hours.

  5. Avo Farmer   February 27, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    I’ve seen a number of times when the directors only come in for half a meeting and then quietly slip out. Do they still get their full per diem when they are only there for a few minutes? If they cared at all about us users, they would be scheduling the two meeting on the same day. We should demand it. Lets get Jack and George voted off. That would be a good start.

  6. DR DR   February 28, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    Yes, Avo Farmer, they would still get the $150 for showing up for 2 min. That is why they only stay 2 min. Gas, wear and tear, lunch and ‘time’ is $150.00.

  7. Historian   March 17, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    Funny that the last time the Board voted to give themselves a raise in November 1999, the item was listed on the agenda to eliminate per diem altogether. One Board member had requested the item for discussion to save the District money. Three Board members got together and gave themselves a 50% raise instead! I am surprised Jack was so greedy with the District in a state of "austerity" that he did not go for $225 since it may have passed!


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