Brady tapped to fill Martin’s senior vice president role with Rancho Water board

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Bill Wilson, board president of Rancho California Water District, talks during a special board meeting on Zoom Thursday, Aug. 20. The board convened to decide whether or not to appoint someone to fill the seat previously held by Danny J. Martin, who died recently. Valley News/Courtesy photo

Rancho California Water District’s Carol Lee Brady was named senior vice president for the utility’s board of directors during a special meeting Thursday, Aug. 20, replacing the spot previously held by Danny J. Martin who died a week earlier.

While the board appointed Brady to Martin’s role, they chose not to appoint someone to fill Martin’s seat on the board as President Bill Wilson suggested it was too close to the election to do so. Wilson was previously against using an appointment to fill a seat recently vacated by Lisa Herman, but ultimately went to Joseph Kuebler, Aug. 6.

“This was the only controversial vote that we’ve had in the last two and a half years with this board,” Wilson said. “Again, we could pick one of those other people or we can just move forward with this group of six. If we go out and find somebody else and have to do the open public committee in 15 days and everything else. It’s just so close to the election. … I would propose that we forego appointing somebody this close to the election and let the election play out.”

The rest of the board agreed, voting unanimously not to appoint a replacement for Martin.

Justin Haessly, water use efficiency and grants manager for the Rancho California Water District, shows a graph of recent WaterSMART grants the district has won over the past few years. Haessly was asking a Rancho Water committee to push a resolution to apply for a grant to the board for a vote. Valley News/Courtesy photo

Also during the special meeting, the board revised appointments to the 2020 Standing Policy committees, with Wilson stepping down and Kuebler filling the role. They also heard a presentation from Precision Storage Concepts to extend their lease on the district’s property on Diaz Road in Temecula.

Earlier in the morning, the Planning and Administration Committee met to hear updates on coronavirus, grants and water use efficiency efforts, outreach and educational efforts, state and legislative federal lobbying activities and human resources.

They also heard a presentation from Justin Haessly, water use efficiency and grants manager for the district, regarding a proposal to consider a resolution authorizing a grant application to the United States Bureau of Reclamation.

“We’ve got a lot of experience with the waterSMART program, we’ve actually been very successful in getting grant awards through that the various subprograms of waterSMART,” Haessly told the board. “What we’re looking to do now with the new grant we want to apply for is apply for a customer meter upgrade project. What this is, is part of our asset management effort, where over the course of the next seven years or so, we’re going to be purchasing a lot of new customer meters, a lot of new ultrasonic meters. It’s the asset management effort that Jeff Kurtzberg is working on.”

According to Haessly, the total project budget is $4 million and the grant, if approved, would be for the maximum of $2 million.

“To get that $2 million in grant money, there’s a one to one match requirement,” he said. “We’ve got to come up with $2 million of our own. And that $2 million is in the capital improvement program budget over the next few years. So it doesn’t represent any additional expenditure that we already have been planning on spending. And the grant would really just offset our existing budget.”

Haessly said the application for the grant is due Sept. 17 and a resolution is required to be included in the application.

The committee voted unanimously to move the recommendation for the resolution on to the board for a vote.

Jeff Pack can be reached by email at jpack@reedermedia.com.