News


Zone 7 general manager granted 15% raise

Regional water wholesaler's board votes 4-2 to approve pay bump

Zone 7 Water Agency's general manager was granted a 15% salary increase by the agency's Board of Directors at Wednesday's board meeting.

Jill Duerig will now be paid an annual base salary of $275,941.12, a raise of just under $36,000.

The Zone 7 board approved the pay bump in a 4-2 vote, with board members Angela Ramirez Holmes and Dick Quigley dissenting and Jim McGrail absent.

Duerig said her salary was kept mostly steady -- other than inflationary increases -- after the recession hit the water agency, and the new increase represents years of regular raises that did not occur.

"The board maintained my salary at well below the average to save money during the financial crisis," she said in an email interview. "With the adjustment, I will be only slightly below the average. The community saved a lot of money over the last five years because of these decisions."

She added: "This is the first major 'equity adjustment' the board has given me, although I have received inflationary adjustments to match those provided to the bargaining units under multi-year contracts, the most a 3% across-the-boards for all Zone 7 staff effective July 1 of this year. Equity adjustments are those for specific classifications that have fallen well below the mean of other Bay Area Agencies so that we don't start losing critical staff to other agencies."

Duerig joined Zone 7 in 2005, and her last inflationary salary adjustment was a 3% raise in June, Zone 7 staff said. All employees received a 3% raise at that time.

Still, Ramirez Holmes said increasing Duerig's salary by 15% seemed excessive given the financial difficulties the agency had just stressed during its recent rate increase.

"Last month, we heard a lot about how we're headed off the fiscal cliff," she said in a follow-up interview. "And just the next month, there's a 15% increase by the general manager. It just doesn't make a lot of sense."

A regional water wholesaler, Zone 7 raised its wholesale rate by roughly 33% at its October meeting, citing fiscal hardship brought upon by a historic unwillingness to raise rates, a large buildup of capital improvement projects that require imminent funding and reduced revenue due to drought conservation.

Rates increased from $2.36 per 100 cubic feet of water (CCF) to $3.15 per CCF.

Zone 7 sells potable water wholesale to four local water-service providers, including the city of Pleasanton, which in turn deliver the water to residents, businesses and other customers. Zone 7 is also responsible for flood control in the Livermore and Amador valleys.

At the Dublin San Ramon Services District (DSRSD), which purchases water from Zone 7, now-retired general manager Bert Michalczyk's most recent annual base salary was $294,108, which took effect in July, according to DSRSD human resources supervisor Michelle Gallardo. Michalczyk retired earlier this month, and a permanent successor has not yet been selected.

DSRSD handles water and wastewater services for areas of the Tri-Valley.

The East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) pays its general manager Alexander Coate a base annual salary of $251,346, with total compensation package of $444,977 including benefits and all other compensation.

EBMUD is a water and wastewater retailer that provides services parts of Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

Contra Costa Water District pays its general manager Jerry Brown $268,715 a year in base salary, according to his most recent contract.

Contra Costa Water is a water retailer for parts of northern Contra Costa County.

Deliberations on Duerig's salary were completed in closed session and reported out after the regular open session Wednesday night in Livermore. Duerig said the regular closed session meeting, which happens before open session starts at 7 p.m., ran long, so negotiations on her salary were tabled until after the board's open session was finished.

Ramirez Holmes confirmed Deurig's salary negotiations completed after open session.

She said closed session initially began at 5:30 p.m. and because the board hadn't gotten through all of its closed-session items by 7 p.m., they decided to vote on the salary negotiation after open session business had concluded, rather than before. The board re-entered closed session around 8:30 p.m. and concluded the meeting about 15 to 20 minutes later, she said.

Comments

52 people like this
Posted by Mickey Mouse
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 20, 2015 at 6:37 pm

This isn't right. They should put the management of the water district out to bid and gets some competitive pricing. They are way over paid. This is nothing more than a subsidized welfare program!


51 people like this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Nov 20, 2015 at 7:05 pm

This compensation level is obscene given the skills required. This board should be investigated. They are stealing from the voters.


82 people like this
Posted by justwondering
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 21, 2015 at 10:32 am

WAKE-UP!! Everyone needs to be paying attention next June with 3 of the Zone 7 board of directors are up for re-election. A 33% increase in our water rates followed at the next meeting by giving the general manager a 15% raise is just not right. Time for change!!


21 people like this
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Nov 21, 2015 at 12:15 pm


Seems to me that y'all got sucker-punched! What are the specific skills required? Training/experience?


36 people like this
Posted by Ratepayer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 21, 2015 at 5:11 pm

Most 'professional' fields don't give raises like that. There are 2%, 3%, some 5%, every other few years maybe 7%...but 15% ! ! ! Unbelievable, intolerable, unjust. Who are these Board of Directors.
At least the Manager nor the board of Directors will never, never,
ever again hold public positions in the East Bay. Not one can 'live down'
abuse of power and mismanagement of that degree.


50 people like this
Posted by Get the Facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 21, 2015 at 5:58 pm

Get the Facts is a registered user.

This raise is ludicrous. A 15 percent raise for someone already making more than five times the average U.S. wage, and over three times the average Bay Area wage, is insane. My kudos to Holmes and Quigley for dissenting.

Next time a teacher gets a 1-5 percent raise, please no one complain.


25 people like this
Posted by Ratepayer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 21, 2015 at 6:21 pm

We who have been forced to NO benefits, working on key military and government supply projects, being called contractors...of course there is no contract!!!! NO company 'matching', no Xmas Day pay. But we're still living...without retirement futures. But we still have to subsidize these public employee greedy leeches, who are totally out-of=touch with the real world. Our new USA. It illustrated how low and greedy some humans are capable of stooping. Outrageous.
Our officials do not look out for us. Somehow Comcast got approvals to jump my bill from $150. to $200. Water. They all take care of themselves. but who protects the public, who are victims who just have to 'lump it'.


33 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 21, 2015 at 7:46 pm

Always thought government jobs were supposed to be decent pay with great retirement. Not great pay with great retirement.


12 people like this
Posted by Tater tot
a resident of Apperson Ridge
on Nov 21, 2015 at 10:45 pm

Hey take the money and run! Isn't democracy a great thing? If the sheep are willing to pay take their cash!


14 people like this
Posted by Pete
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 22, 2015 at 8:29 am

How does common core approach solve such a status quo issue? If by providing a raise, the outreach of information to educate young people/taxpayers about present/future water projects and their impacts was more prominent, maybe we could agree.
Formulate your own questions and ask around town, to different age groups. Waking up? People are sleeping, actually. Someone else is taking care of it. Your right...and it will cost you dearly...down the road.


Like this comment
Posted by John
a resident of Beratlis Place
on Nov 22, 2015 at 2:31 pm

Qualifications - Web Link


8 people like this
Posted by Roz Rogoff
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 22, 2015 at 3:58 pm

Roz Rogoff is a registered user.

If you have questions about how Zone 7 is run, you can go to the meetings. These are public. The board meets the third Wednesday of each month at the Zone 7 headquarters in Livermore. Web Link

Instead of carping about the raise, go to the meetings and speak in Public Comment. I am always amazed by people who btch and moan about public agencies but don't do anything about it.

I have been to Zone 7 meetings. I have met Jill Duerig. I know the importance and value of water in California, especially during a drought. Do any of you?

I don't see any one here complaining about the millions of dollars paid to CEO's, usually in the form of stock bonuses. Public employees do not have access to stock. Ms. Duerig's pay is significantly lower than she would get in a comparable job in a for-profit corporation.

I'm sure I will be bashed for defending her, but you twerps don't know diddly. Be glad that when you turn on the tap, water comes out.

Roz


3 people like this
Posted by John
a resident of Happy Valley
on Nov 22, 2015 at 4:41 pm

Roz sounds like this really hit a nerve with you.


46 people like this
Posted by To Roz and Supervory Haggarty
a resident of Birdland
on Nov 22, 2015 at 4:42 pm

Roz - I tend to agree with your insight most times but in is case you are dead wrong - look at the Zone 7 Board agenda - there was listed a CLOSED session for "public employee performance evaluation" There was NO LSTING of the Board sconsideration of a contract amendment nor was any contract amendment made available for public review before hand. There is NO way the public could have been aware of this matter even if as you so kindly put it one of us "twerps" wanted to speak.

THIS IS A BLATENT VIOLATION OF THE BROWN ACT AND SHOULD BE CHALLANGED

Further, do you recall that last summer the Alameda Grandy Jury found that Zone 7 was the least open and transparent agency in Northern California? (Related to the $25 million purchase of the Patterson Ramch that also was NEVER made know ahead of time to the public) ...connect the dots...$25M purchase of dubious need....agency in financial trouble.....agency raises rates 30%....Duerig gets 15% raise.....

Roz, you are wrong this time and need to retract your statements

To respond to another post above, "remember this in June?" Give me a break, the members running in June are those who voted AGAINST the raise. The ones who approved it do not have to face the voters for 3 years - why the h$&% do you think it took three hours in closed session to talk about this? The discussion among the Board was to rig the vote so that those who voted for the raise would be off the hook!!!!

Supervisor Haggarty - when are you and the Board of Supes going to step in? This agency is out of control, it lacks openness and transparency, and it just VIOLATED THE BROWN ACT - or are you in cahoots with that Board also????

Scott, Time to step up and take a stand,


19 people like this
Posted by Reservoir Gods
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 22, 2015 at 5:33 pm

They should investigate the water district and the board members. Look at the shenanigans going on at the Santa Clara Valley Water District. Casual spending of taxpayer money with their Golden Spigot.


19 people like this
Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on Nov 22, 2015 at 6:50 pm

Definetly agree with the 2 previous posts those board members are a sneaky bunch of pick-pocketing thieves, good luck on any of them ever having to answer to what's going on behind those closed doors, and don't go looking for any of our elected politicians to do anything, one hand is always washing the other hand!! Wondering if any of the zone 7 people are related to the Bart people, same things happening with our money, same mismanagement and broken promises.


24 people like this
Posted by Justwondering
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 22, 2015 at 7:58 pm

Sandy figgers voted for both the 33% water rate increase and the gm's raise. He is up for re-election in June and needs to be replaced!

Roz people spoke at the meetings about the rate increase and were ridiculed by board members Stevens and quigley. Further board members were deliberating about the increase BEFORE the public hearing was opened. No point in speaking if they've publicly stated how they're going to vote. Normally I agree with you but you weren't there and have no idea what took place


By the way someone should check but I think the gm took retiring medical for her husband one year instead of a pay increase! That's a huge benefit worth farore than a salary increase


17 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 22, 2015 at 7:58 pm

Roz,
You're wrong. Public employees do have acess to company stocks. They can open trade accounts like anyone else. Private sector employees however do not have access to tax payer funded pensions.
Traditional employee stock plans offer a 15% discount up to 10% of salary. Nothing to sneeze at, admittedly a generous benefit.
Again, public sector is meant to be OK pay with great retirement benefits, not both.


1 person likes this
Posted by Roz Rogoff
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 22, 2015 at 8:14 pm

Roz Rogoff is a registered user.

Resident of Birdland,

Employee evaluations by Directors of public agencies are always held in private. The Directors leave the dais and meet in private and return to the meeting to announce their decisions.

I wasn't at the Zone 7 meeting where this was decided and I haven't been following Zone 7 for a couple of years now; so I may have spouted off without enough knowledge of how this decision was made, but I do know that Jill Duerig has done an excellent job of running Zone 7 and deserves the increase.

Voters in the Dougherty Valley portion of San Ramon receive water from Zone 7, but they cannot vote for Directors because the Zone is still part of Alameda County Water Control and not an independent agency like the Dublin San Ramon Services District. Most voters don't know that Zone 7's elections are held in the spring and not in November. So turnout for Zone 7 elections tend to be very low.

Ms. Duerig tried to break away from Alameda County so residents of San Ramon would have some say in how Zone 7 is run, but this was prevented by Alameda County Supervisors and some of the Zone 7 employees. So I know the hard work Jill Duerig has put into running this agency and trying to do right by water customers across County lines. Here's a link to a blog I wrote almost three years ago that still has not been resolved. If you want to cut costs at Zone 7, work with Jill not against her.

Web Link


41 people like this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Nov 22, 2015 at 8:34 pm

She didn't do nearly $300,000 worth of a good job. If they advertised the job at $180k, they would have plenty of qualified candidates. Just because other district managers have their hands in the bag doesn't mean our district should be in on the theft. Fire her, vote out the board, start over.


23 people like this
Posted by To Roz - Part 2
a resident of Birdland
on Nov 22, 2015 at 9:20 pm

Roz - Please read my post carefully - no objection to the Z7 Board discussing performance in private - entirely appropriate - albeit you and I may disagree on Ms. Duerig's performance but that is neither for you nor I to decide

However, what is clearly in the public's purview is that under the law evaluations are separate and distinct from granting a raise - the latter MUST be done in open session, properly noticed and at a regular Board meeting and the public must be given 72 hours to review the documents - NONE of which were done by Zone 7 (the 5:00 start time makes the meeting NOT a regular Board meeting)

Find it incredulous that you are defending secret, illegal meetings!


30 people like this
Posted by justwondering
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 22, 2015 at 9:20 pm

Roz, how do you know the General Manager is doing an excellent job when you haven't been following Zone 7 for a couple of years? Water coming out of the tap should be satisfactory performance.

The bigger question here is that during the meetings where the rate increase was discussed, nothing was said about the need for significant increase in compensation for the general manager. In fact, it was stated that Zone 7 needed the 33% increase because it was about to fall off the fiscal cliff. Then they come back in the next meeting and increase compensation by 15%. It was done legally after the open session. But why wasn't it done before the open session so that it could be announced when the public was in the room? If its justifiable why not announce it in front of the public?

Residents are a captive audience when it comes to water. We can only get water from Zone 7. Can't drill a well if we wanted to as Zone 7 controls the aquifer. At least with electricity, residents can use solar to reduce their dependence on PG & E. The General Manager is not an indentured servant. If she is unhappy with her pay and total compensation package, work somewhere else.

It seems like the water districts are caught in an upward spiral of which general manager can be at the top on the pay scale. That would be okay if we had choices for water. Until we do, the Board should be thinking of the rate payers as they make fiscal decisions especially when they said the agency is about to fall off the fiscal cliff.

The only this is going to change is to elect new directors. The next election is in June. When residents get their bills in 2016 with the higher rates maybe then they will start asking questions!!


23 people like this
Posted by Ratepayer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 22, 2015 at 11:20 pm

Shame on you Roz. How dare anyone compare private CEOs to public employees. Stock holders can OPT OUT !!!! and fire incompetents!!!
IF money is the motivator of these board & commission thieves, they could work for private companies, IF they had necessary skills...which most of them do NOT.
I thought they get on the public xxx er 'gravy train' because they were upset about boards that ruin lives of private citizens who are held hostage, with no options but to 'put out'. No pay, No service for us. Nope, not the case, these thieves are not about 'public service'....anything but. Truly disgusting.


29 people like this
Posted by Ratepayer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 22, 2015 at 11:29 pm

Dump these thieves. These numbers are staggering....such greed and so little shame. Just because they can, they do so without shame. They need to be replaced, courts should return to original benefits, and system fixed so thieves cannot write their own checks. The whole thing is crazy. I'd say report to the Grand Jury. Each would have to testify in private. Any citizen can request an investigation with written names an public organization to be investigated.


34 people like this
Posted by Brad Hirst
a resident of Birdland
on Nov 23, 2015 at 10:27 am

That high salary for Zone 7 GM is irresponsible by Board - at best. Harsher words are earned by the Board. The Directors are being Directed by their Staff. Water is complicated and requires very large Capital Costs- BUT it is NOT rocket science. Keep in mind that the majority of water supply cots ( any ) District no money. The water and water rights come from the State.
If the District is good with fiscal management why did they get far behind in maintaining Reserves.
/
Keep in mind the District has been telling the City's they can supply water for new housing the last four years - while existing residents and businesses conserve 38 % from 2013. How good is that Management ?
The public sector management continues to successfully sell the Boar the MYTH they deserve higher salaries and benefits " or lose good people to other districts. " That is a myth - or really a CROC !
We need to replace some of current Board with prudent and capable Directors.


32 people like this
Posted by Bob12
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 23, 2015 at 10:43 am

Excessive in total compensation and increase. It is the citizens that pay the bills, and most citizens make no where near this amount of compensation. And if you add in their most likely incredible pension plan - we the citizens are getting fleeced again. They do not base their salaries on any reasonable income of their citizens, but on bloated salaries of other government bloatees. - - I do not know when this is going end, but their GREED cannot continue to be this egregious, excessive forever.

We CONSERVE WATER at their request, can we CONSERVE their bloated salaries??


7 people like this
Posted by Julia
a resident of another community
on Nov 23, 2015 at 11:00 am

WOW...Sounds like a lot of concerned people. I am pleased to see so many are angered. But the big question...WHAT DO YOU PLAN ON DOING ABOUT IT. I AM SURE NOTHING.

HAVE A WARM AND WONDERFUL THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY.

Julia Pardini, from Alamo


16 people like this
Posted by Ratepayer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 23, 2015 at 11:22 am

Many thanks to Brad Hirst, who is always the voice of sanity and reason. He knows all these positions better than anyone, and what is reasonable to expect in both performance and pay.
I hate to interject the mundane, but for several mornings my water has been quite gray. This morning I could not see through my glass of water. I guess we're not suppose to make a connection, but couldn't help myself. I took my vitamins with that glass of water, as usual, and am alive to write again.
I thought about that 15% raise while taking my vitamins...both tough to swallow.


15 people like this
Posted by Bob12
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 23, 2015 at 11:38 am

I set a reminder in my email to vote NO in the June elections on all existing water zone 7 members per this post:

Posted by justwondering
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 21, 2015 at 10:32 am

WAKE-UP!! Everyone needs to be paying attention next June with 3 of the Zone 7 board of directors are up for re-election. A 33% increase in our water rates followed at the next meeting by giving the general manager a 15% raise is just not right. Time for change!!


13 people like this
Posted by Ratepayer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 23, 2015 at 11:39 am

I just read Brad's comments again. It is a fact that all the numerous public agencies and departments do use the 'we have to compete with others cities and counties'. They all 'work together off each other'...it feeds the myth. So morally wrong. The taxpaying masses just pay up and put out. Sad. Except for techies, most people do not get matching, must less any company retirement, and no COL, and know they are lucky to actually have a decent position, when owners are hurting too.
The crime is we taxpayers and ratepayers are hostages and victims of this shameless system that has developed in our state.


11 people like this
Posted by Gone
a resident of Castlewood
on Nov 23, 2015 at 1:30 pm

Hope real estate values stay up until I can get out of this state


26 people like this
Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on Nov 23, 2015 at 1:58 pm

Let me be the 1st to cast my vote for letting these bums move on to a "better paying" water district, we could probably roll back the wages to where we think they should be and still get plenty of qualified applicants!! The cow has pretty much dried up here, move on to greener pastures!


6 people like this
Posted by Why Wait? Oh I know
a resident of Beratlis Place
on Nov 23, 2015 at 7:25 pm

I counted over a 100 "likes" above.

if you all feel so strongly about this matter why wait? Start a recall drive - pretty straightforward to do so - see info at the following link

Web Link

But wait! None of you will because that requires coming out from behind the veil of anonymity provided here and putting forth logical, cogent arguments rather than opinionated blather.


31 people like this
Posted by Re, why wait
a resident of Hacienda Gardens
on Nov 23, 2015 at 10:03 pm

Recall? Really Bill Stevens????

People, you really need to take these public board members to task. It is only because we are all too busy working our day jobs that we don't take our jobs as voters serious enough.

This board raised our water rates 33%. They hired a new executive for over $250,000. They created another new executive position that was promotion only for another $200,000 and the person promoted is a "very close" friend of the General Manager, they spent $20,000,000 on open land that has cows grazing on it... Just like it did for the past 20 years.... The GM has had many complaints against her but she covers everything up with the help of her minions (directors included) and the dozens of consultants she hires on a regular basis.... We need to request the spending records of this group and see just how much they really waste! How much do they spend on legal matters? Does the general manager really get retirement healthcare for life, for her and her family? Do other employees of this board get that too?

Wake up people - it's that time!!!


13 people like this
Posted by Ratepayer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 24, 2015 at 12:27 am

The purpose of the Alameda County civil Grand Jury is to investigate officials or agencies that step outside the lines of the law or public misbehavior. Anything that is needed to protect people from behavior of officials going a step too far. Someone just needs to present a letter with improper actions or individuals operating against the best interest of the public. A committee of Grand Jurors will then check it out and report their findings.


8 people like this
Posted by Re....Re, Why Wait
a resident of another community
on Nov 24, 2015 at 7:18 am

No I am most certainly NOT Bill Stevens! And am I also not John Greci, Sandy Figuers, Sarah Palmer or Dick Quiqley!

And I do not disagree with the comments.

The point I was trying to make was that unless someone comes out from underneath the obscurity of the Pleasanton Weekly, NOTHING will change at Zone 7. Someone needs to step out into the open and take on these folks head on. If not you will all forget this issue by June. The electorate has in the past at every prior egregious action by Zone 7 .They count on this. Why do they do these things in October and November and not in April and May ahead of the election? Referring it to the Grand Jury does nothing - they are impotent - just look at what came out of that body's investigation last year on Patterson Ranch. Refer it to Haggarty? He has no power to remove an elected official from office

People, someone please start a recall petition - the time has come!

So, why can't I do it? As Roz correctly pointed out there is even larger larceny at work. People like me in the Dougherty Valley CANNOT vote for Zone 7, CANNOT run for their Board, CANNOT start a recall petition. But yet, I am as affected by the out of control spending, the failure of the water supply the last two years (Roz you get your water from EBMUD so you have no standing on that issue) and now this total slap in the face action a month after declaring a fiscal emergency and raising rates 30%

PLEASE, someone step up to the plate - you will have a huge following

If not this thread will run its course, we will continue to pay large sums for inferior service and guess what? This thread or something like it will start again next year when the Zone 7 board thinks they can get away with it


15 people like this
Posted by justwondering
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 24, 2015 at 8:39 am

Director Bill STEVENS should be at the top of a recall list!! Anyone who would say in a public meeting that they don't want to talk to the public and would say the agency is transparent enough and doesn't need to spend $25,000 per year to be on tv30 doesn't belong on a board of directors!! If I voted for a 33% increase and a 15% raise for the GM, I wouldn't want to be recognized either!! These are exactly the reasons why the meetings need to be on tv! Unfortunately his term isn't up until 2018.

There is a group of ratepayers who are actively looking for one or two candidates to run in June. Look for an announcement by at least one person to run for one of the positions after the first of the year. They are going to need a lot of support both with campaign contributions; both financial and help getting their name out. Dublin, Livermore and Pleasanton vote for all three positions. It doesn't help that Livermore Mayor Marchand played a key role in hiring the GM so he is totally supportive of her and no one seems to want to cross him.

Stay tuned and please be prepared to help with a campaign for at least one new director!!


11 people like this
Posted by Ratepayer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 24, 2015 at 9:49 am

actually, last election I thought the choices for zone 7 were pretty pathetic, when listening to their forums. We don't examine candidates for some of these boards like we should, by choice and lack of opportunity. Checking ethics, understanding of subject, competence, really does require some homework. They usually are people who are not very public and no public history so it is difficult. but, these boards do affect our lives.


20 people like this
Posted by Transparency
a resident of Livermore
on Nov 24, 2015 at 12:06 pm

Don't forget that Zone 7 recently purchased the Patterson Ranch property for $19M without any public input. The justification was that the property was needed for watershed protection. The ridge land property continues to be used for grazing. It is not needed for flood protection because it is upstream of the Del Valle dam. What protection did the purchase provide? The Alameda County Grand Jury pointed out the lack of transparency in this purchase in its 2014-15 report. The Zone 7 board needs to be held accountable for its decisions.


29 people like this
Posted by Robin Hood
a resident of Livermore
on Nov 24, 2015 at 12:58 pm

Zone 7 Water Agency has been managed through staff intimidation and bullying for the last twenty years. The staff is not allowed to speak to anyone outside the agency. All information comes from the GM and her army of flying monkeys. One reason the separation from the county didn't happened was because Zone 7 can't be trusted without oversight and staff needs the workplace protection the county offers. Until the "old timers" on the board are replaced and a new GM is hired they will continue to spend your money any way they want and don't feel they need to explain to the public. One board member was quoted as saying he didn't want activists at the meetings. They don't want the public at their meetings! It is time to replace the old board and GM and make Zone 7 transparent. VOTE AND ATTEND MEETINGS. HOLD ZONE 7 ACCOUNTABLE.


23 people like this
Posted by A Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 24, 2015 at 4:03 pm

As I understand it Zone 7 is a water wholesaler that sells water to 4 retailers, namely 4 cities. What would happen if the 4 retailers bought their water directly? Could Zone 7 be eliminated, saving mucho dinero?

Zone 7 was formed in 1957, did people die of thirst before that time?

The basic question is, are so many Government agencies needed?


24 people like this
Posted by Concerned
a resident of Downtown
on Nov 24, 2015 at 4:04 pm

Why aren't the ratepayers in the Zone 7 district demanding to know why Zone 7 purchased the Patterson property for $19 million dollars without any public knowledge? The agency then announced they were going over a fiscal cliff if they didn't raise rates by 30%. Now they award the GM with a 15% salary increase! What does the purchase of the Patterson property provide for the ratepayers? Why is it a benefit to the community? How is it helping our drought situation? Will it provide more water and lower rates for the ratepayers? Maybe it should be sold and the $19 million dollars be spent where it will benefit the community. Where did the $19 million dollars come from, what part of the budget? These questions could have been asked before the property was purchased but Zone 7 made their decision behind closed doors. Not what I would call transparent at all. The only use of this property so far has been private invite only picnics by the board. They thumbed their nose at the grand jury findings that they needed to be more transparent. You think?


16 people like this
Posted by Charlie Brown
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Nov 24, 2015 at 4:08 pm

The public can't take a bath because of the rationing of water, but it seems our treasury can take a bath.


24 people like this
Posted by Concerned
a resident of Downtown
on Nov 24, 2015 at 5:29 pm

I like the idea of eliminating Zone 7. Alameda County could take over the flood control responsibilities and Livermore, Pleasanton, San Ramon and Dublin could purchase water directly from the source. If the Zone 7 Board and GM can't accept the fact that they are accountable to the ratepayers then maybe it is time to remove them completely.



Just saying.....


3 people like this
Posted by born here
a resident of Downtown
on Nov 24, 2015 at 7:12 pm

This person should reject and lower it to save their reputation and earn points in the community. Plus, I heard the zone 7 well collapsed anyway. Well collapse happens all the time and hopefully houses around here aren't swallowed by huge sink holes. Is there sink hole insurance ;) I wish Pleasanton was still a bird hunting area where kids can learn how to hunt, survive, and enjoy the sport of target shooting.


13 people like this
Posted by June
a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Nov 25, 2015 at 11:24 am

CONSOLIDATE ZONE 7 AND DUBLIC SAN RAMON SERVICE DISTRICT! Special Districts throughout the State are often over-bloated in staffing and salaries. Zone 7 is no different. They are way over-staffed (assistants to assistants) over-paid, have little accountability, and not to mention the fancy administrative building they are headquartered in. Zone 7 was investigated by the Grand Jury and we all know, have failed to do long range planning to secure water supplies. Now our rates are going up to pay for this administrator's inability to properly manage. Unfortunately, the majority of the Boardmembers likely don't want to create tension with management, so they acquiesce to the pay raise. A salary of $ 275K plus pension and benefits is utterly obscene. DSRSD however has shown leadership and compentency, so save the taxpayers MILLIONS and eliminate Zone 7.


7 people like this
Posted by June
a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Nov 25, 2015 at 11:25 am

CONSOLIDATE ZONE 7 AND DUBLIC SAN RAMON SERVICE DISTRICT! Special Districts throughout the State are often over-bloated in staffing and salaries. Zone 7 is no different. They are way over-staffed (assistants to assistants) over-paid, have little accountability, and not to mention the fancy administrative building they are headquartered in. Zone 7 was investigated by the Grand Jury and we all know, have failed to do long range planning to secure water supplies. Now our rates are going up to pay for this administrator's inability to properly manage. Unfortunately, the majority of the Boardmembers likely don't want to create tension with management, so they acquiesce to the pay raise. A salary of $ 275K plus pension and benefits is utterly obscene. DSRSD however has shown leadership and compentency, so save the taxpayers MILLIONS and eliminate Zone 7.


5 people like this
Posted by June
a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Nov 25, 2015 at 11:25 am

CONSOLIDATE ZONE 7 AND DUBLIC SAN RAMON SERVICE DISTRICT! Special Districts throughout the State are often over-bloated in staffing and salaries. Zone 7 is no different. They are way over-staffed (assistants to assistants) over-paid, have little accountability, and not to mention the fancy administrative building they are headquartered in. Zone 7 was investigated by the Grand Jury and we all know, have failed to do long range planning to secure water supplies. Now our rates are going up to pay for this administrator's inability to properly manage. Unfortunately, the majority of the Boardmembers likely don't want to create tension with management, so they acquiesce to the pay raise. A salary of $ 275K plus pension and benefits is utterly obscene. DSRSD however has shown leadership and compentency, so save the taxpayers MILLIONS and eliminate Zone 7.


8 people like this
Posted by June
a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Nov 25, 2015 at 11:25 am

CONSOLIDATE ZONE 7 AND DUBLIC SAN RAMON SERVICE DISTRICT! Special Districts throughout the State are often over-bloated in staffing and salaries. Zone 7 is no different. They are way over-staffed (assistants to assistants) over-paid, have little accountability, and not to mention the fancy administrative building they are headquartered in. Zone 7 was investigated by the Grand Jury and we all know, have failed to do long range planning to secure water supplies. Now our rates are going up to pay for this administrator's inability to properly manage. Unfortunately, the majority of the Board members likely don't want to create tension with management, so they acquiesce to the pay raise. A salary of $ 275K plus pension and benefits is utterly obscene. DSRSD however has shown leadership and competency, so save the taxpayers MILLIONS and eliminate Zone 7.


10 people like this
Posted by ???
a resident of Country Fair
on Nov 25, 2015 at 8:59 pm

Funny how roz disappeared from the comments. Guess she realized the unreasonableness of a 15% pay increase on top of a 33% rate increase!


6 people like this
Posted by Rob
a resident of Mohr Park
on Nov 26, 2015 at 10:48 am

Without much knowledge of this situation, I am thinking it would have been more profitable to join the public sector! Got to love government monopolies! If the head gets 15 percent then other people are getting theirs too! With pension!


12 people like this
Posted by Zone 7 employee not getting mine
a resident of California Somerset
on Nov 26, 2015 at 12:21 pm

In addition to the 15% the GM also got 3% on July 1. All other employees got the 3% and that's all we got

On this day I am very thankful for my job and yes my pension but mine will be very modest as compared to the GM who will also receive a pension from her prior employers based on her salary at zone 7 and which will be paid for by zone 7 rate payers. Back in June she was also granted health care for life for her and her spouse. None of that was never publicly disclosed by this board either

One thing for sure, public or private, there is always a big pay and benefit gap between the top and the bottom. It's the way of the world but in this case it doesn't have to be


10 people like this
Posted by Outraged
a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 28, 2015 at 12:17 am

Zone 7 should not be serving customers outside of Alameda County. THe fact that they are providing water to thousands of houses in Dougherty Valley and taking water away from Alameda County residents who then are in turn fined by the City of Pleasanton should be a crime. There should be a moratorium and no more residential building permits should be issued in Pleasanton and no more housing approved until this situation is fixed.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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