The Discovery Bay Community Services District Directors will consider increasing their compensation at their upcoming meeting. Currently, they are paid a daily stipend of $100 a day for up to six days per month. If the CSD Board is really about serving the District, they should reject an increase at this time.
State law allows the water district governing boards to increase pay by up to 5 percent for each calendar year since the last adjustment. According to the contra Costa Times, the last time the board increased its compensation was in 2002, when the limit went from $25 to $100 a director.
Common sense says it’s been 10 years since the last increase which says an increase is deserved. Are they underpaid per meeting? Probably. But they should reject that urge because when you compare them to other cities and special districts, they are actually could make more.
- City of Brentwood is paid $569 per month for a town of 52,000
- City of Oakley is paid $435 per month for a town of 36,000
Should a CSD Director attend 6-meetings in a month ($600), they would make more than Brentwood and Oakley City Council Members—remember, some may even attend the same meetings where CSD could claim the stipend whereas Brentwood/Oakley include it in their monthly compensation.
When compared to another Special Districts in the area, two extremes are occurring.
- East Contra Costa County Fire Protection District is paid $0 per meeting
- Ironhouse Sanitary District is paid $160 per meeting (up to six per month)
If Ironhouse Directors attend 6-meetings per month, they are paid $960 which is excessive considering they service around 30,000 customers. CSD is getting the shaft when compared to Ironhouse as if the rest of the areas local officials. But when compared to the Fire Board, CSD is making a lot more than $0.
Now, let’s go out a little farther to Fairfield-Suisan Sewer Board who implemented a similar policy that CSD will discuss as they get an automatic 5 percent annual increase in pay per meeting each year. That Board is paid $149.53 per meeting—however, in 2008, prior to the policy change, the Board was paid just $112.50 per meeting. As you can see, 5 percent doesn’t seem like much, but it adds up quickly over time.
The reality is if a CSD Board Member puts in the effort to attend more meetings and committees, they get paid more than other local council members. I can live with that and so should Discovery Bay voters.
Residents should request they leave the compensation alone at this time.
Here is the Staff Report
Subsequent to the California Legislature’s overhaul of Community Service District law in 2006, the Town of Discovery Bay Board of Director’s has been compensated pursuant to the revisions included in that legislation. Government Code §61047(a) states that the Board of Directors may provide, by ordinance or resolution, that each of its members may receive compensation in an amount not to exceed one hundred dollars ($100) for each day of service. A member of the Board of Directors shall not receive compensation for more than six days of service in a month. This is and has been the manner in which Board Members are compensated for many years. To date, there has never been an effort to adjust Board compensation.
Government Code §61047(b) provides that the Board of Directors, by ordinance adopted pursuant to Chapter 2 (commencing with (Government Code) Section 20200) of Division 10 of the Water Code, may increase the amount of compensation that may be received by members of the Board of Directors.
Government Code §20201 specifically allows that the governing board of any water district…“may increase the compensation received by members of the governing board above the amount of one hundred dollars ($100) per day.” Government Code §20202 goes on to say… “In any ordinance adopted pursuant to this chapter to increase the amount of compensation which may be received by members of the governing board of a water district above the amount of one hundred dollars ($100) per day, the increase may not exceed an amount equal to 5 percent, for each calendar year following the operative date of the last adjustment, of the compensation which is received when the ordinance is adopted.”
Board Members are reimbursed for mileage, travel, and other business related expenses. However, Board Members are not reimbursed for other expenses such as phone expenses (including cellular), paper, toner, and other miscellaneous costs incurred as a consequence of their activities as a member of the Board of Directors.
If the Board desires to pursue this action, staff would recommend that the Board authorize, pursuant to an Ordinance, increasing Board Member compensation 5% annually, on January 1st of each year. This action would require two subsequent Board meetings consisting of a first reading and then an approval of the Ordinance itself, and a revision of the Board’s By-Laws and Board Policy. Those revisions would take place concurrently with the adoption of the Ordinance.
By Michael Burkholder