Rainbow approves $190K contract for Buckley – Agency searches for successor

During the closed session portion of the Rainbow Municipal Water District’s April 7 special board meeting, the board members approved a contract for new general manager Gene Buckley while also authorizing a search for his replacement in that position.

A 5-0 vote approved Buckley’s contract while a 4-1 vote, with Dennis Sanford in opposition, authorized Buckley to conduct a search for a new general manager through internal efforts rather than through a third-party recruiting service.

“I’m in there for now,” Buckley said. “It’s kind of an interim situation.”

Although the March 25 board meeting decision which hired Buckley made him the general manager rather than the interim general manager, Buckley feels that he should return to his position as assistant general manager and chief finance officer. “That’s where my talent and strength is, and I realize that and I enjoy that part,” he said.

Buckley, who joined Rainbow’s staff in February 2004, also has near-term retirement plans. “Even if I were not retiring, one person cannot do both jobs, cannot do them well,” he said.

Buckley had previously been Rainbow’s interim general manager prior to the hiring of Dave Seymour, who was Rainbow’s general manager from September 2007 until his retirement in April 2013. “I’ve done both of them one other time,” Buckley said. “You can do it for a short time, but ongoing it would wear somebody down.”

The North County Joint Powers Authority consisting of Rainbow and the Fallbrook Public Utility District was formed in February 2013, and FPUD general manager Brian Brady was named as the North County JPA executive officer. When Seymour retired, Brady was also named as Rainbow’s general manager. The reorganization associated with Brady’s hiring changed Buckley’s title from chief financial officer to assistant general manager, and under Rainbow policy Buckley was the district’s acting general manager in Brady’s absence.

On March 5 the Rainbow board voted to withdraw from the JPA. On March 10 the FPUD board addressed the JPA’s conflict of interest code which covers incompatible offices; Brady resigned as Rainbow’s general manager without a vote. Buckley became Rainbow’s acting general manager upon Brady’s resignation.

“I’m actually doing two jobs,” Buckley said. “It’s more than a plateful.”

The $190,000 annual salary stipulated in Buckley’s contract to be general manager and chief finance officer is an approximate 10 percent raise from his salary when he was assistant general manager and chief finance officer.

Board approval will be needed to hire Buckley’s replacement as general manager.

22 Responses to "Rainbow approves $190K contract for Buckley – Agency searches for successor"

  1. Lee   April 24, 2014 at 7:38 am



  2. Huh?   April 24, 2014 at 9:21 am

    I agree Lee, I can’t believe they got him that cheap!

  3. Pink   April 24, 2014 at 9:49 am

    $190K a year is pretty good money, but it certainly isn’t out of line with his position. I know people who make more and do less.

  4. Me   April 24, 2014 at 10:33 am

    Oh paleez….wear somebody down. How hard could it possibly be?
    Just take your 10 year only pension and leave already.

  5. grunt   April 24, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    @Me and Lee- what, if anything, do either of you do? both seem to resent any and all payments anyone gets. I make less, yep, but do not begrude the fair payment. Why do you? Again- asking what either of you did for a living.

  6. RtotheM   April 24, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    I know of a very recent Rainbow ex-GM who made about $40,000 more and did about 60% less work.

  7. Terry Leather   April 25, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    It ain’t fittin’. It jus ain’t fittin’

  8. RMWD ratepayer   April 25, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    Doesn’t anyone get it? He’s paid substantially less than FPUD’s GM…for doing two jobs. He is finance manager as well. Rainbow is getting more for its money.

  9. Pink   April 25, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    That is the point I was trying to make RMWD ratepayer. As usual Lee missed the boat by about 3000 miles.

  10. disgusted and fed up   April 25, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    This is prime example why the corrupt RMWD should be abolished. This man Buckley is being paid much more than either a US Senator or House member. Incredible that Buckley receives more than any one of the 535 political prostitutes that make up our Congress. I can only assume that he must be an even bigger whxxx than they (if that’s even possible) Cut his salary to $75,000 and not a penny more. If he doesn’t like it he can go get a real job in the private sector.

  11. RMWD ratepayer   April 26, 2014 at 11:56 am


    Your logic escapes me. You want FPUD to dissolve RMWD? FPUD’s GM is paid substantially more for being ONLY GM than Mr. Buckley is for being GM AND Finance Manager. TWO jobs. Rainbow has more money to manage and a better budgeting program designed to keep water rates stable (Note that I didn’t say cut them. FPUD won’t cut them, either.) , save for the maintenance of our infrastructure, and find and put into practice efficiencies. With the help of the Budget and Finance Committee and under Mr. Buckley’s direction, Rainbow has a sound, no frills budget. They have found more savings for Rainbow than any consolidation would produce. The pie in the sky claims by Mr. Brady have yet to be substantiated. Nowhere can you find specifics about them. Where are they?

    Do you know ANYTHING about the salaries of most water district GM’s in this county? Brady is near the top; Buckley is not.

    Rainbow is exceptionally transparent about their policies and practices. Your loose and irresponsible use of the word corruption demonstrates how little you really know about it.

    PS Your defense of Congressional pay is amusing.

  12. RtotheM   April 26, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    Re #10: the true irony is that he would make substantially more in the private sector. AND he works 10x harder than any senator or house member.

    Let me ask you… What kind of house in Fallbrook or Rainbow would he be able to afford on $75k a year? Your temper-tantrum is not logical nor called for.

  13. Seriously??   April 27, 2014 at 8:58 am

    Clearly comment #10 has no clue how much money people make in any given field in the real world. FPUD’s GM makes considerably more than Mr. Buckley is making. I agree with comment #12, Disgusted is merely having a temper tantrum, best to ignore him.

  14. Lee   April 27, 2014 at 9:24 am

    @ #10 disgusted and fed up

    I love you!!!!!

    Make it $60k/year. Actually, shouldn’t an appointed and elected political position be . . . a FREE position? Shouldn’t an appointed and elected position be a matter of civic pride and duty and, thus, a position without compensation?

    That’s my vote.

  15. kma   April 27, 2014 at 9:50 am

    I also don’t believe the salary should be more than $100k. Our most recent census facts: more than one third of ALL households in the USA get by on $35k/yr or LESS, one out of every four workers earns $10/hr or LESS, more than HALF of us are considered Low Income, and according to the IRS, less than 7% of ALL taxpayers earn $100k or more a yr! RtotheM, are you saying that everyone in the Fallbrook and Rainbow Municipal Water Districts are in that 7%?! Get real! These out of touch w/reality salaries and benefits are bankrupting us!

  16. Paul   April 27, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    @Lee: Add this fact to the myriad list of things that you evidently don’t know. The GM position at both RMWD and FPUD is NOT an an elected political position. The GM is recruited and hired by the board of directors. He is an employee, and he makes a salary just like any other employee. Knowledge and education play a huge role in the selection. The elected board members receive a stipend, usually between $100-$200 for "gas" money. It would be so refreshing if people like Lee would actually do some research before making comments that have no basis in fact.

  17. Lee   April 27, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    @ #15 kma

    Agreed 100%!

    Why can’t WE, THE PEOPLE, RMWD ratepayers, vote on this? Problem solved.

    Why not . . . REAL democracy?!

  18. ex voter   April 27, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    It’s stuff like this that makes me not regret removing my name from the voting rolls. I voted in every election since I turned 18. I’m now 33. I mean every election all the way down to Republican Central Committee, school board the works. Even when I was stationed outside the country. But I decided two years ago that elections and politicians in this country are a joke. So I decided to get my name off the roles. My self respect is too important to be associated with this nonsense. Jim Wood or Bill Horn? Dronenburg or that lady running against him? Waldron vs whoever? Who cares! I follow politics now like I follow sports but I realize that it makes absolutely no difference in my life. Politicians ALL POLITICIANS disgust me. To heck with all of them!! Anybody else want to disassociate themselves from this fraud, I provide a link below.


  19. RtotheM   April 27, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    Nope. I’m saying that it is unreasonable for you to expect the CEO of a $30 million organization to make $100k a year. Especially when policemen have unions extorting significantly higher salaries with big fat pensions that allow them to retire much earlier than most people.

    I’m sick and tired of everyone else kowtowing to the blue-mafia. If you want to crack down on unreasonable salaries and benefits start where the biggest offenders exist.

  20. H2O   April 28, 2014 at 12:08 am

    @19. Maybe he should go get himself a job as a cop?

  21. RtotheM   April 28, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    @20. Or he could go get himself a GM job for FPUD.

  22. Paul   April 28, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    @Lee: You are an RMWD ratepayer now? Didn’t you tell us on another thread awhile back that you are an FPUD ratepayer? Where do you live, in your car?


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