West Valley Water District re-elects Board President Channing Hawkins

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On the heels of many major wins including earning the California Municipal Treasurers Association (CMTA) Investment Policy Certification, obtaining the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Certificate of Achievement, securing a Community Workforce Agreement (CWA) that supports over 100 local jobs and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local Union No. 12 that commits to a cost-of-living raise for employees and more, the West Valley Water District (WVWD) Board of Directors today announced the re-election of Board President Channing Hawkins to continue the organization’s strong track record in providing greater accountability, transparency and progress for the ratepayers, employees and region. 

“I think there’s a lot more we can do as a team and organization and I am truly honored that my board colleagues agree,” said WVWD Board President Channing Hawkins. “We’re already being recognized by national leading organizations for our work. Next year, we’re going to create a 5-year plan that will expand our capability to better serve ratepayers, modernize our infrastructure and use our resources more efficiently. For 2022 and beyond, it’s our mission to not only maintain our progress, but to make the West Valley Water District a world-class public utility.” 

Last month, WVWD earned the CMTA Investment Policy Certification and the GFOA Certificate of Achievement in Excellence in Financial Reporting for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. The CMTA, which works to promote and enhance the fiduciary responsibility and integrity of individuals responsible for public funds, awards its investment policy certification to certify which and to what extent public agencies are adhering to best practices for investment policies. The GFOA, which recognizes contributions to the practice of government finance that exemplify outstanding financial management, awards its Certificate of Achievement in Excellence in Financial Reporting to government organizations that have met its stringent standards for financial disclosure. Both awards from the CMTA and GFOA are recognition of WVWD’s exemplary performance in fiscal management and transparency.

In the fall, maintaining its commitment to support local jobs, the WVWD Board approved a Community Workforce Agreement (CWA) that supports 107 full-time jobs at an equitable, prevailing wage. These workers will build the Oliver P. Roemer Water Filtration Facility expansion, which will treat an additional 7.2 million gallons per day of state water. The expansion will provide a reliable long-term water supply that will help meet surging population growth and high peak summer usage. The CWA also establishes apprenticeships and job training to supplement and further develop the region’s local workforce and bolster the local economy.

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During his tenure as board president, Hawkins has helped to usher in a new era of unity and progress for WVWD. His efforts include spearheading the implementation 10 major reforms, which reforms included rigorous accounting and financial reporting measures, a new board policies and procedures manual and new water sustainability and efficiency projects. From live-streaming and video-recording board meetings to regularly posting financial and water data online, WVWD’s reforms earned the organization the Special Districts Leadership Foundation’s Transparency Certificate of Excellence. The award, which promotes transparency in operations and governance of special districts to the public, required WVWD to adhere to strict reporting and transparency rules and procedures. 

As WVWD board president, Hawkins also spearheaded the creation of and is president of IEWorks, a seven-agency-strong regional workforce development consortium using training and apprenticeship programs to expand job opportunities for disadvantaged communities and ensure the region’s water and wastewater industries have enough trained professionals to meet growing water and wastewater demand. In addition to his duties at WVWD and IEWorks, Hawkins serves as commissioner of human relations for the City of Rialto and special assistant for San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors’ 5th district. Outside of his career in public service, Hawkins uses his spare time towards adult literacy training in the city of Colton and mentors at-risk youth in San Bernardino. Hawkins earned both his juris doctorate and bachelor’s degree in history from Howard University in Washington, D.C. 

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