In 2011, the Idyllwild Water District (IWD) completed one of its major goals and will continue pursuing the unfinished goals and objectives in 2012. The board’s goals are large labor-intensive projects that require a lot of effort, such as the recycled water project for which the state is the principal driver of actions.

In August 2011, the board adopted a Sewer System Management Plan consistent with the State Water Control Board’s standards. The other internal procedures and manuals, which may need some revisions and additions, remain on the board’s agenda.

The board held a Jan. 10 workshop to discuss its plans for 2012 and summarized plans and issues at last week’s Jan. 17 meeting. But discussion and resolution did not result in pro forma adoption of generic goals.

Board members verbally wrestled with how to accomplish more with the district’s limited staff, with daily operational issues receiving the highest priority. Director John Cook was the most vocal suggesting the board think of alternatives that would contribute to the completion of goals without burdening the staff with multiple special assignments.

“The staff’s time is so impacted by operational activities,” he said. “We may have great intentions to do the goals but operational reasons prevent us from getting as far as we want. I don’t think we can move very far on goals and objectives unless we do something different.”

Clark then suggested that perhaps the directors should “roll up their sleeves” and help. Specifically he suggested that the board’s subcommittees might meet more often. He offered the possibility of devising a biennial budget rather than the traditional annual process.

“We could see if it’s workable and get some traction on goals without overextending staff,” he argued.

But Director Mike Freitas was doubtful that much progress could be made without General manager Terry Lyon’s participation in subcommittee sessions.

One of the issues with which the district has begun to grapple is revision of its personnel policies. In particular, the board has been trying to revamp its healthcare policy. Discussion occurred during the fall, but came too late to effectively change the benefits provided. So the overall resolution of this issue, which will affect future budgets, has passed into 2012.

The board did agree that they should approach policy and procedure issues incrementally rather than trying to revise the whole subject, such as personnel. They agreed to address a specific topic, fix or change it, then move to another.

New state legislation or legal ramifications should be the criteria, which determine the policy revisions the board targets each year, according to Director Warren Monroe.

Besides agreement to move forward with the existing goals, the board agreed to hold a workshop to begin addressing a long-range fiscal plan.

“What is needed for the district to continue to perform?” asked Board President Allan Morphett. Details about the workshop will be discussed at IWD’s February meeting.

In water business, Lyons reported creek flows were unusually high for the lack of winter rainfall this year. “Foster lake is at 17 feet, which is a good level this time of year,” Lyons said.

IWD 2012 goals and objectives

  • Implement study for recycled water project
  • Complete Personnel Policies and update Procedures manual
  • Update and develop Operational Procedures manual
  • Update all rules and regulations for 2011
  • Develop long-term financial plan