SCV Water directors agree: no increase in per diem payments

The Rio Vista Water Treatment Plant at SCV Water. photo courtesy SCV Water.

Members of the SCV Water Agency board agreed Tuesday night to take no increase in the amount of money they’re paid to attend meetings.

On Tuesday, the SCV Water board of directors met at the Rio Vista Water Treatment Plant on Bouquet Canyon Road overlooking Central Park for its regular monthly meeting.

One of the items they discussed was the per diem they receive for attending meetings. Currently, each board member is paid a $228.15 per diem for every meeting they attend.

They discussed increasing that amount, diminishing the amount or to simply leave it the way it is.

They chose the last option.

After 20 minutes of discussing the point, board President Bill Cooper asked: “What do you want to do?”

At which point, Director Ed Colley said: “I don’t want to have this discussion anymore. I thought there was enough folks here saying, ‘No increase’ that we ought to be done with the discussion.

“I’ll move that we end the discussion with no increase for the board,” he said.

After asking each director what they thought, Cooper closed the discussion saying: “It appears we have 6-to-5 (votes) for leaving it where it’s at.”

The discussion followed a brief presentation on stipends — comparing what SCV Water board members are paid to what directors at other agencies receive — prepared by the Compensation and Reimbursement Ad Hoc Committee.

Director Bob DiPrimio, spokesman for the ad hoc committee reviewing per diems, described the $228.15 per diem as on par with what other agencies pay out, in terms of the average of those amounts and the median amount.

“The board has been very good at policing itself,” said Director R.J. Kelly. “Probably about two years ago, we discussed what the increase should be, around 5 percent every year.”

Agency attorney Tom Bunn pointed out to board members that they are allowed a 5 percent maximum increase of the per diem each year.

Directors voting for no increase remained true to a similar pledge made in July not to increase the $228.15 per diem.

They approved a plan at that time to change the way board members are paid to attend meetings — identifying which meetings count and which ones don’t — but not the rate of the stipend.

They agreed to limit the amount of money directors receive when attending events and meetings in an official capacity and also limit the amount of times each director can attend such events and be compensated for them.

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