Under the authority of the Board President, President Channing Hawkins initiated a special meeting to review and scrutinize professional services contracts. The direction by the Board President is the next step of strengthening transparency and accountability at West Valley Water District.
President Channing Hawkins stated, “As President, I will continue moving forward in ensuring our community and ratepayers are given the opportunity they deserve to review, scrutinize, and provide input on how their funds are spent.” He added, “This is an additional step I have directed towards achieving the Transparency Certificate of Excellence.”
The special meeting held by the Board was live streamed for the public view. It provided the public and ratepayers an opportunity to review contracts approved by the Board or within the $25,000 authority allowed by the General Manager per district policies. Fifteen contracts were reviewed or considered by the Board, which included professional services for software integration, engineering, and employee recruitment among others.
Vice President Kyle Crowther stated, “Together, our Board of Directors are moving to develop new policies and procedures to ensure the ratepayers funds are spent wisely. We will hold consultants accountable for their agreements with the District.”
During the meeting, the Board of Directors sought additional information and clarification for scope of services, length of agreements, and a timeline of deliverables. The public scrutiny by the Board is historic as continued action is taken towards gaining the public trust.
On December 19, 2019, the Board of Directors took action to immediately develop a plan towards earning the distinguished Transparency Certificate of Excellence. The certificate is recognized by the Special District Leadership Foundation (SDLF). These steps include:
- applying for a Transparency Certificate of Excellence Award. The certificate covers all general, website and outreach best practices and requirements regarding transparency for special districts. The certificate is administered by the SDLF, which is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides recognition and certifications to special districts and officials to enhance services to the public.
- live-streaming the meeting for customers and community stakeholders. New meetings and workshops will now be live-streamed for the public on the WVWD website and Facebook page.
- producing digital copies of Board of Directors meetings for the public in compliance with the California Public Records Act.
- publishing a master calendar for scheduled meetings of the Board of Directors and Committees.
- reviewing our human resources policies. The agency will be conducting a hiring freeze while we are taking action to ensure our policies are fair, transparent, and consistent.
- review and scrutinize third party consultant/professional services contracts in special public meeting.