JOSHUA TREE — Joshua Basin Water District directors last week discussed filling a vacancy, approved hiring a temporary employee and set a date for a special meeting to discuss disaster preparedness.
The board decided to appoint a new director to fill the vacancy created by Given’s recent resignation.
Board members were reminded they had three choices: they could appoint someone within 60 days, they could call an election for Nov. 3, 2010, or they could do nothing, and the county Board of Supervisors would decide what to do.
Except for Wilson, who wanted to wait for the November election, board members were in favor of appointing a new director.
The directors said it was necessary to have a full board because of some upcoming “important decisions.”
Staff was directed to advertise the vacancy, with interviews scheduled for May 19.
The appointment will be made June 7.
The appointee will hold office until the regular district election in November, at which time he or she will have to run for office to retain a seat on the board.
The board voted 4-1 to appropriate $25,000 to hire a temporary worker to help with the district’s valve-maintenance program.
The worker will be replacing a district employee who is out sick and will work about six months.
Director Gary Wilson said he didn’t like the idea and opposed the motion.
“In my opinion, you have enough employees to do the work,” he said.
The other four directors disagreed. Director Bill Long said the work must be done as soon as possible.
“A time of emergency is not the time to find out the valves are broken,” he said. “We need to get this work done.”
President Gary Given commented that hiring temporary employees has worked well in the past, referring to last year when the district hired two temporary contract workers to begin the valve-maintenance program.
“I’m all for it,” he said.
Work on the valves has slowed recently because of other priorities and the employee who is on leave, reported Joe Guzetta, general manager.
One of last year’s temporary workers, who is already trained, would be rehired, Guzetta said. Some of the cost will be covered by absence of the employee.