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Time for the BWD Board to Step Up and Earn Their Keep

Digger - January 01, 2010

On 10 December 2009 the Borrego Sun reported that "the cause for public uproar" over BWD General Manager Williamson's proposed Employment Agreement "ended abruptly" when he retracted his dream sheet. According to Williamson: "At this point the public can say they've been heard." Neither of those statements is true.

If Williamson's reason for seeking a contract was "comments from the public" indicating that his job might be in jeopardy, as he claims, then how is it that he is now suddenly "'comfortable' with his job situation" as he also claims? The "storm of protest" he triggered was caused as much by his existing employment arrangements, including a salary that is totally out of whack and a three day work week, as the wholly unrealistic new demands he made. That sober realization should offer him, at best, only cold comfort.

He apparently believes that there will be no repercussions from his abortive raid on the public coffers, and that the "current arrangements," which he now, curiously, finds "entirely satisfactory," will simply continue. The BWD board cannot allow that to happen. The short work week is obviously unacceptable to members of the public. It must end and a study to determine an appropriate salary for a General Manager in a water district comparable to Borrego's must begin, immediately. Anything less would constitute misfeasance on the part of the BWD board.

Moreover, Williamson had the audacity to task the district counsel with drafting an employment agreement that was entirely self-serving and offered no benefits whatsoever to the District. In so doing, counsel acted as his agent and on his sole behalf. Williamson, and not the ratepayers, should, therefore, bear the entire cost of her work on the draft agreement and his letter retracting it.

The BWD board must, somehow, find the courage, competence, and will to address and resolve these serious issues forthwith.

See also: The Man Who Would Be King: BWD General Manager Rich Williamson

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