For the third time, Pine Cove Water District (PCWD) received the California Special Districts Association’s (CSDA) District Transparency Certificate of Excellence, and for the second time, the District of Distinction award. Both honors were presented at the Aug. 14 meeting.
Chris Palmer, public affairs field coordinator for CSDA, was at the meeting and handed both awards to PCWD Board President Robert Hewitt.
“I am so proud of the district. I know we owe it all to a hard-working staff and general manager,” Hewitt said after the meeting. “Also, I want to thank our loyal customers for their amazing support.”
Both honors are important, Palmer stressed to the board. “The transparency certificate basically says at the end of the day, the district’s business is the people’s business. That this district is open, accessible and engages the community,” he stated.
“The District of Distinction honor recognizes a district’s prudent fiscal practices and its effective operations as a special district,” Palmer said.
Among the criteria for District of Distinction are clean audits, fiscal responsibility, emphasis on continuing education of staff and board, and more importantly, sound policies for governance, board conduct, transparency and reserves.
After Hewitt accepted the awards, General Manager Jerry Holldber highlighted the efforts of Office Manager Becky Smith.
“Special thanks to Becky,” he said adding, “We don’t just communicate with our customers, we have a relationship with them.”
In perspective, Palmer indicated that the District Distinction and Certificate of Transparency awards are difficult to achieve.
“In 2019, so far there are 136 districts that have received the Transparency Certificate of Excellence (6.8%) and only 37 districts (1.8%) that have achieved District of Distinction,” Palmer wrote in an email to the Town Crier. “There are 2,000 independent special districts in California. Pine Cove Water District has maintained its Transparency Certificate since first receiving it in 2013. They first received their District of Distinction in 2015.”