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Ironhouse to Consider Possible Revisions in Director Benefits Tonight

Tonight’s Ironhouse Sanitary District meeting has an agenda item on it that may concern many in the public who are fed up with excessive benefits which are occurring each month at this special district. Tonight is special though, under Item 7B, the Board will discuss existing director benefits and consideration of possible revisions.

This comes weeks after I submitted a formal public information request after Tom Williams blew me off for months. They also they blew off Oakley Councilman Randy Pope last November while also blowing off the Contra Costa Grand Jury findings.  Ultimately, this discussion has been a long time coming.

Here are a couple of quick thoughts on the Lauritzen proposal. While I respect this attempt from Director Lauritzen’s and I admit its a good start, the Board can do much better for the ratepayer. Instead of freezing the medical, dental and vision,  they should eliminate it all together for new board members while in good faith any current director should decline the benefits going forward.

I would encourage ratepayers to attend if possible.
Per my Sept. 24 post, here is a recap of current benefits and a possible proposal.

Currently, here is what the Directors receive in compensation:

Aside from their $170 per meeting stipend (maxes out at six-meetings per month), Directors are eligible to receive medical, dental and vision.  Directors can also choose to have (i) 1 family member added; or (ii) all family members’ added (different prices/plans for each).

  • Director only Plan: $625/mo.;
  • Director plus 1 family ~$1,000/mo
  • Family Plan ~$1,588/mo.

Based on the current benefits, Doug Hardcastle has earned $94,888.60 from ratepayers while Michael Painter has earned $124,815.17 since 2007.


Here is  Director Lauritzen’s Proposal:

  • Freeze the amount District will pay for current Board member benefits (medical, dental, vision).
  • Moving forward, District only pays for Board member, not the entire family, while board member is serving on the board.  If Board member chooses to add other family members, Board member pays full freight for that.
  • When Directors leave the Board, the benefits END (regardless of time of service on the Board).   If Board member wants to continue benefits (for self or family, if previously added family), Board member will need to pay full freight for that.
  • These changes will ONLY apply to new Directors going forward (current/past Directors will be “grandfathered” in at the current benefit levels/policies).
  • Going forward – expect to cut costs to ratepayers.
    • Comment by Guest Doug Sheer – he agrees with this direction/change.
    • District Counsel suggested that Board designate an “ad hoc” subcommittee, to put details of this plan/change together consistent with any CalPers requirements/rules.  As to changes in retirement benefits, this can be accomplished with a Retirement Policy.
      • Will not reduce existing directors contributions/benefits, but can freeze going forward.
      • Sub-committee to work with Counsel, to come back with a Plan, to address freezing current rates, and any increases imposed by insurance company going forward will be borne by the Directors.
      • Sub-committee to consist of:  Michael Painter and Chris Lauritzen.  Present Plan and costs for next Board meeting.


Meeting Information:

DATE:         Tuesday, October 2, 2012
TIME:           7:00 p.m.     Regular Meeting
PLACE:        Ironhouse Sanitary District Office
                          450 Walnut Meadows Drive
                          Oakley, CA  94561

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