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 2018 and two four-year terms will expire in 2020.
To be eligible to run for the the Board of Directors, you must be a registered voter and reside within the District’s boundary. The candidate nomination period for November elections opens in July and closes in early August.
Resources and more information regarding elections:
- SC County Elections Department Main Webpage: www.votescount.com
Director Compensation and Reimbursement
In accordance with Ordinance No. 15-01, 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 No. 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. To access the Board Reimbursement policy, click here.
District 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.
Currently, Board member compensation is $160.00 per day for each day's attendance at regular meetings of the Board and standing committee meetings or for each day's service rendered as a Director that involves out of town travel and $80.00 per day for authorized service within Santa Cruz County. At this time, two SqCWD Directors also serve on the Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Agency; and Board member is a District representative on the County of Santa Cruz Flood Control and Water Conservation District – Zone 5 committee. We also have board members that serve on our standing committees.
- Range of average monthly Director compensation (from January - May 2014) was $350 - $500 per month
- Range of Director's current out-of-pocket medical premium cost-sharing is $83.66 to $179.60 per month.
The District’s current rate is well below the maximum amount allowable by state law, which is $230.48 per day of service in 2014.
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
Eligible activities include:
- Serving in a policy maker role at properly noticed meetings of the Board of Directors, Board committees, and joint powers authorities (JPA) in which the District is a partner (committee and JPA appointments are reported on Fair Political and Practices Commission Form 806)
- Representing the District at a public meeting of another public agency when that agency is considering business that involves the District
- Speaking for the District at community events and meetings
- Representing the District at professional and/or technical meetings and conferences
- Taking part in organized educational activities, including required ethics training
Ethics and Order & Decorum at Meetings
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 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 & Public IV: A Guide to the Ralph M. Brown Act (League of California Cities, July 2010, 2nd edition)
Soquel Creek Water District regular meetings are held on the first and third Tuesday of each month. Agendas for all meetings are available online