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Zone 7 board to consider hiring new general manager

Santa Clarita official tapped as top candidate to replace retiring Jill Duerig

The Zone 7 Water Agency Board of Directors is set to consider a proposed contract with the top candidate recommended to become the agency's new general manager Wednesday night.

The proposed candidate, Santa Clarita water official Valerie Pryor, would replace Jill Duerig, who announced her upcoming retirement from the general manager position last October. Duerig is set to leave at the end of the month, and, if appointed, Pryor's employment will begin April 22.

Pryor is currently serving as the assistant general manager for the Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency, which launched in January 2018 after the governor approved legislation uniting the Newhall County Water District and Castaic Lake Water Agency. Before that, Pryor worked for the Castaic Lake Water Agency for nearly 14 years.

The proposed contract with Zone 7 -- subject to board approval Wednesday night -- calls for Pryor to receive an annual base salary of $275,000, with the possibility for up to a 5% performance bonus for extraordinary performance, as determined by the board. This base salary includes a biweekly vehicle allowance of $400, to account for her use of a personal vehicle for official business.

According to the contract, she would receive the same general benefits package as other Zone 7 unrepresented management employees -- which includes retirement benefits, health care, dental care, personal insurance, holidays, sick leave accrual, vacation purchase and sell-back and paid management leave. She would receive 20 days of vacation once the agreement takes effect, and would accrue vacation days at the rate of 0.962 working days per pay period, until the agreement is terminated.

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If the agreement is approved, the new general manager will also receive $18,500 annually from Zone 7 to paid into a deferred compensation plan, in the same manner as other Zone 7 employees.

The contract states that the Board of Directors could only terminate Pryor's contract if at least six of the seven directors vote in favor, at any time with or without cause. If terminated without cause, Pryor would receive severance pay of six months base salary, but would not be entitled to the pay if terminated for cause (such as the commission of a felony or a rules violation).

The GM could not be terminated without cause within three months after a Zone 7 board election.

The Zone 7 board has been searching for a new general manager since late last year after Duerig announced her intent to retire in the spring after nearly 11 years at the helm.

After conducting a number of closed-session interviews and discussions, the board selected Pryor as the most viable candidate.

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Zone 7 is a public agency in eastern Alameda County, and acts as a water wholesaler for water service providers in Pleasanton, Dublin, Livermore and San Ramon's Dougherty Valley along with providing flood protection in the Livermore and Amador valleys.

The public board meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the agency's administration building, 100 North Canyons Pkwy. in Livermore, following a 6 p.m. closed session.

Pryor's proposed contract is listed on the board's consent calendar, a collection of items deemed routine and voted upon all at once unless pulled for separate consideration.

In other business

* The board will recognize Josh Ruggiero as January 2018 Employee of the Month. Ruggiero serves as a water resources technician in flood control.

Board members will also recognizing Frank Torrian on his recent retirement, after over 31 years of service.

* Directors will consider adopting a status update and design contract amendment for the Patterson Pass Water Treatment Plant upgrades and ozonation project.

* The board will consider approving a solar energy project at the zone's North Canyons headquarters office.

* Board members will consider authorizing the sale of Livermore Valley Water Financing Authority revenue bonds.

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Zone 7 board to consider hiring new general manager

Santa Clarita official tapped as top candidate to replace retiring Jill Duerig

by Erika Alvero / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Tue, Mar 20, 2018, 2:10 pm

The Zone 7 Water Agency Board of Directors is set to consider a proposed contract with the top candidate recommended to become the agency's new general manager Wednesday night.

The proposed candidate, Santa Clarita water official Valerie Pryor, would replace Jill Duerig, who announced her upcoming retirement from the general manager position last October. Duerig is set to leave at the end of the month, and, if appointed, Pryor's employment will begin April 22.

Pryor is currently serving as the assistant general manager for the Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency, which launched in January 2018 after the governor approved legislation uniting the Newhall County Water District and Castaic Lake Water Agency. Before that, Pryor worked for the Castaic Lake Water Agency for nearly 14 years.

The proposed contract with Zone 7 -- subject to board approval Wednesday night -- calls for Pryor to receive an annual base salary of $275,000, with the possibility for up to a 5% performance bonus for extraordinary performance, as determined by the board. This base salary includes a biweekly vehicle allowance of $400, to account for her use of a personal vehicle for official business.

According to the contract, she would receive the same general benefits package as other Zone 7 unrepresented management employees -- which includes retirement benefits, health care, dental care, personal insurance, holidays, sick leave accrual, vacation purchase and sell-back and paid management leave. She would receive 20 days of vacation once the agreement takes effect, and would accrue vacation days at the rate of 0.962 working days per pay period, until the agreement is terminated.

If the agreement is approved, the new general manager will also receive $18,500 annually from Zone 7 to paid into a deferred compensation plan, in the same manner as other Zone 7 employees.

The contract states that the Board of Directors could only terminate Pryor's contract if at least six of the seven directors vote in favor, at any time with or without cause. If terminated without cause, Pryor would receive severance pay of six months base salary, but would not be entitled to the pay if terminated for cause (such as the commission of a felony or a rules violation).

The GM could not be terminated without cause within three months after a Zone 7 board election.

The Zone 7 board has been searching for a new general manager since late last year after Duerig announced her intent to retire in the spring after nearly 11 years at the helm.

After conducting a number of closed-session interviews and discussions, the board selected Pryor as the most viable candidate.

Zone 7 is a public agency in eastern Alameda County, and acts as a water wholesaler for water service providers in Pleasanton, Dublin, Livermore and San Ramon's Dougherty Valley along with providing flood protection in the Livermore and Amador valleys.

The public board meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the agency's administration building, 100 North Canyons Pkwy. in Livermore, following a 6 p.m. closed session.

Pryor's proposed contract is listed on the board's consent calendar, a collection of items deemed routine and voted upon all at once unless pulled for separate consideration.

In other business

* The board will recognize Josh Ruggiero as January 2018 Employee of the Month. Ruggiero serves as a water resources technician in flood control.

Board members will also recognizing Frank Torrian on his recent retirement, after over 31 years of service.

* Directors will consider adopting a status update and design contract amendment for the Patterson Pass Water Treatment Plant upgrades and ozonation project.

* The board will consider approving a solar energy project at the zone's North Canyons headquarters office.

* Board members will consider authorizing the sale of Livermore Valley Water Financing Authority revenue bonds.

Comments

Buc Lau
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 20, 2018 at 8:51 pm
Buc Lau, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 20, 2018 at 8:51 pm

What a scam! $275K base plus up to an additional 5% “performance bonus for extrodinary performance” whatever that is AND an $800/month car allowance! What a bloated agency. Can’t even manage to fix the crumbling banks along the Arroyo Mocho canal.

Shameful, just shameful.

I guess we can only hope that this candidate has more than two years experience like the last “extrodinary performer” they stuck us with that ran the agency into the ground and spent all of the reserves. Bravo!!


Disk Man
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 21, 2018 at 2:15 pm
Disk Man, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 21, 2018 at 2:15 pm

I guess there is just no end to the lard that taxpayers have to pay for government employees. When are voters going to rise up and put an end to the craziness?

The entire Board of Directors should be voted out if they approve the contract with the provision that states that Pryor could only be terminated if at least 6 out of the seven directors voted for termination. That is not only irresponsible, but outrageous.


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