Schelly new IWD president: Board still studying meeting compensation

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The new Idyllwild Water District Board of Directors held its second special meeting this month, but this time it was with four members. Dr. Charles Schelly is the new president of the district’s board and Vic Sirkin will serve as vice president. Both selections were unanimous.

The board then addressed several issues relating to itself and introduced its choice for interim general manager. John “Jack” Hoagland, retired, but currently serving on the Rancho California Water District board is the board’s preference. Final contract negotiations were planned this week, and the final contract was to be brought to the board’s regular meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 21.

While the board discussed changing its compensation for attending meetings, which is currently $100 per meeting, an actual decision was deferred until the regular meeting this week.

Initially several members seemed inclined to reduce the meeting stipend of $100 to $50 and possibly abolish it.

“I think this something we’re doing out of the kindness of our hearts and community service,” said Director June Rockwell. “We shouldn’t be paid. A hundred dollars is quite a lot and $50 is the local standard.”

Director Steve Kunkle joined her saying, “A hundred dollars is too much. I have no problem with $50. I still won’t take any compensation.” He also recommended that these checks be identified in the district’s monthly warrants.

Sirkin suggested setting the monthly maximum at $50 per month rather than a per meeting basis.

From the public, Tom Paulek supported the $100 per meeting rate or greater. “I expect the board to be very knowledgeable, not a casual job. I expect you to be very well informed and doing a lot of work. I recommend you re-consider the compensation.

“I want a very professional, adequately trained [board] member. A hundred dollars per meeting is peanuts,” he concluded.

Marge Muir, local real estate agent and Idyllwild property owner, suggested $50 per meeting. “People don’t expect you not to be paid.”

In September 2013, the previous board increased its meeting compensation to $100 from $50 per meeting — regular, special or committee meeting.

The board deferred a decision on the modification of the board’s compensation and also whether to adopt Rosenberg’s Rules of Order as the guidelines for managing its meetings.

The board set up a committee, composed of directors Rockwell and Sirkin, to explore new legal representation. The district’s current legal counsel is David Wysocki of Akulfi and Wysocki, which has encountered its own legal problems associated with the City of Beaumont’s corruption litigation .

Related, the board unanimously voted to put the litigation against current member Steve Kunkle in abeyance until a new counsel could review its merits. The vote was 3-0, Kunkle abstained and Cook had resigned.

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