Throughout California's history, local legislative bodies have brought participatory democracy to the citizens of the state. Local legislative bodies - such as boards, councils, and commissions — are created in recognition of the fact that several minds are better than one and that through debate and discussion, the best ideas will emerge.
An important piece of this process is the participation of the general public. The law, which guarantees the public's right to attend and participate in meetings of local legislative bodies, is the Ralph M. Brown Act, also known as the Brown Act. The board complies with the Brown Act under Section 11: Compliance with the Brown Act can be found under the District's Ethics Policy.
Since it was established in 1953, the Ralph M. Brown Act requires that California city councils, county boards, and other local government bodies, including Soquel Creek Water District, deliberate and take action openly, where the public is allowed to attend and participate.
Open and Public IV: A Guide to the Ralph M. Brown Act (PDF) (League of California Cities, July 2010, 2nd edition)
Soquel Creek Water District Directors are elected every two years in November. The office is non-partisan, and directors serve "at large," meaning they represent all customers within the District's boundaries. Their four-year terms are staggered, with the cycle of two terms expiring in one even-numbered year and three terms expiring the following even-numbered year. Three four-year terms will expire in 2022, and two four-year terms will expire in 2024.
To be eligible to run for the Board of Directors, you must be a registered voter and reside within the District's boundary. The candidate nomination period for the November elections opens in July and closes in early August. Additional election information is available on the Santa Cruz County Elections Department's Website.
Director Compensation & Reimbursement
In accordance with Ordinance Number 20-01 (PDF), the Board of Directors annually reviews Board compensation. Any adjustment cannot exceed 5% of the compensation amount as of the adoption date $100.00 per annum plus any unused adjustment from previous years.
California state legislation (Assembly Bill Number 1234, Chapter 700, codified in Government Code 53232 through 53232.4) requires local agencies to adopt a written policy regarding expense reimbursements paid to elected and appointed officials. The purpose of this policy is to describe how members of the Board of Directors may be compensated for their service stipends and to adopt and implement procedures for reimbursing Directors for actual and necessary expenses incurred by them in the performance of official District duties.
Directors are compensated once per month. Directors are also eligible to participate in the District’s health and welfare benefit programs during their terms with medical premium cost-sharing deductions made on a pre-tax basis. Premium costs are based on the individual medical plan selected.
The District’s current rate is well below the maximum amount allowable by state law, which is $303.43 per day of service. The rates are as follows:
- $100 per day for authorized service within Santa Cruz County.
- $200 per day for each day's attendance at regular meetings of the Board
- $200 per day for each day's attendance at standing committee meetings
- $200 per day for each day's service rendered that involves out-of-town travel
For more information, access the California State Controller's Office Government Compensation in California Database for Soquel Creek Water District's Board of Directors Compensation and Employees Compensation Websites.