The directors of the Idyllwild Water District have been searching and recruiting for either a new general manager or a chief operating officer (field supervisor) since September.

They have had several closed meetings to review applications and possibly interview candidates. The latest was 7 a.m. Monday.

When asked how many candidates were on the list, President Dr. Charles “Chip” Schelly replied, “Fifty.”

In September, after the directors first advertised the general manager position, Director David Hunt said the district received dozens of applications, but only three seemed like viable candidates.

Since then, reflecting on the paucity of good quality general manager applicants, the board also has advertised for a chief operating officer, who would oversee field work such as the wastewater treatment plant, pipeline installation and other field work.

Eventually, this person would be promoted to general manager, according to the recommendation Hunt made to the board last month. The job description was on the agenda for the Wednesday, Dec. 19, board meeting.

As of last week, Schelly said the board has interviewed about five candidates. “There is no deadline on making a decision,” Schelly said.

He added that there are no additional criteria other than what is required in the job descriptions.