California Valley: Whoops, we'll give the money back



In what was described as a “bookkeeping error,” board members of the California Valley Community Services District were frequently paid for meetings they didn’t attend.

Between the five board members, there was a total of 25 meetings that were either canceled or that individual board members skipped but were compensated for anyway, according to a CSD review of the past four years. Each member gets $100 per meeting.

“What happened was we were reviewing our directors handbook ... and the compensation came up,” District Manager Sharee Washer told New Times.

A district staff report said a “misinterpretation of the policy had been made.” Specifically, the misinterpretation allowed directors to be paid for meetings they didn’t attend. The new and corrected interpretation is, “The board embers only receive compensation when they attend a meeting.”

Although the board members agreed to repay the district, some California Valley residents aren’t satisfied with the response.

“We residents have many unanswered questions regarding the ‘director compensation pay-back’ action,” resident David Webb said in a written statement. “It has the appearance of a ‘token appeasement.’”

Webb and others believe the item was incited by resident complaints to the board that began as early as February—not a routine review of the policies, as claimed.

The largest payback came from Board Member Sal Guide, who missed 11 meetings and owed $1,100.

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