Smyle: Helix Water Directors Paid Handsomely

Don't expect the Helix Water Board to make any changes to employee benefit and pension package in the upcoming Memorandum of Understanding with its employees.  When they themselves can make over $18,500 in benefit compensation (see chart below) before you add in the $200 per meeting for another 7-10 meetings per month and you have total compensation that could approach nearly $40,000 for a part time job. Not bad. 

Some wonder why a Board member would spend $10,000 to win an election to be on the board.  It is simple, invest $10,000, get a $40,000 return per year for four years.  So will the HWD Board who we elected to protect us really do something about reducing the best employee pension and benefit package in the county for public agencies?  Time will tell but don't count on it since they hired HWD General Manager Weston and Administrator Irvine that work for the District as employees to negotiate against themselves.  Does this make any sense?   It hasn't the last two MOUs.

  A good start would be for the board to vote to have themselves pay at least 50% of their own benefits since they are after all part timers.  Now they are talking about raising our rates again to pay for an accelerated capital improvement program.  Enough is enough.  No more increases until you get your employee pension and benefit packages in line with the rest of the private sector or god forbid at least heading towards their brethren city and state agencies.

   Make the employees pick up the 8% optional pension cost picked up by the District, and change the pension formula for new hires to 1.5% at 65.  Eliminate the $500 deferred comp payment.  It is not needed with the current pension benefits.  Make employees pick up 25% of their benefit costs and 50% of their dependent costs for Health, Dental and Vision.

  If the public does not speak up at HWD Board meetings, write in or email the board (, we are all doomed to accept what is forced upon us.  All we can then do is vote out Mr. Smith, Linden and Muse who are up for re-election in 2012 and hopefully elect some new Board members who are truly looking out for our interests, not their own.  Rise up people, get vocal.

  There is still time to attend a Helix Board Meeting and voice your opinion in open session.  That is of course if you can take off work at 2 pm on a Wednesday to make it.  Just another way the Board attempts to shut out the public since most of us work during the day.  Is there any wonder why the public has so much anger with the public agencies?


2011 monthly premiums paid by the District for each Board Member for medical, dental, and life insurance and the matching annual deferred compensation benefit.

                      Medical      Dental       Life         Deferred Comp

Muse            $1338.08      $51.95        $1.57            $500

Linden          $ 566.59       $33.48        $1.20            $500

Smith           $ 430.50       $33.48         $1.57

Verbeke       $1338.08      $51.95         $12.37                          

Hedberg       $1218.31      $81.30        $12.37           $500


The District pays for a $100,000 life insurance policy to age 70, at which time the benefit decreases to $10,000.   


Views: 102

Tags: HWD, Hedberg, Helix Water Directors, Helix Water District, Linden, Muse, Verbeke


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Comment by DEXTER LEVY on March 26, 2011 at 6:13pm

Mr. Smyle,


In addition to the points you brought forth, may I offer another major flaw that appears to exist at our HELIX WATER DISTRICT (HWD)! Some additional food for thought for the Rate Payers/Voters of  (HWD) that might want to be considered.


Currently a Rate Payer/Voter and persons living in the District, each have the opportunity to vote for only One (1) of the Five (5) Directors of the District, that vote is based on the Area in which each Voter
Lives. You DO NOT have the opportunity to vote for or against any of the other
Four (4) Directors, which means you only have (at best) a 20% say in the
selection and no say in the other 80%, as to whom will Administer the 1.5
Billion Dollar Asset that you own.


It does not seem correct or prudent that the Rate Payer/Voter & Owner of the District be precluded from having any input thru the Election Process as to the selection of each of the five (5) District


As far as I can determine the process of having Directors Elected only by Area rather than by an “AT LARGE” vote is determined under the terms of the Districts “POLICY & PROCEDURES” which can be amended only by a
Majority Vote of the Directors. I am not aware of any other way that the
“POLICY & PROCEDURES” can be amended.


I do further believe that none of the current Directors will be willing to allow this change in the Director election process to be determined by a Referendum vote of the entire Rate Payer/Voters of the
District, to do so would place the Directors in the position of being responsible
to and scrutinized by the entire District, not just 0ne (1) of the five (5)
Areas for their Actions, they may say they are now acting on behalf of the
entire District, then it should be asked, if you correct then why not give the
entire District the chance to make that Choice and MOVE FOR A REFERENDUM VOTE
OF THE RATE PAYERS/VOTERS and be guided by the outcome of that “AT LARGE


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