Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) Board Meeting - September 6, 2018
Items to Watch for in the Future:
Other Comments or Observations:
1. The Board took several minutes to talk about the recent Calumet explosion where one employee was trapped when part of the roof collapsed. Employees and the fire and police departments were lauded for their prompt and efficient response. An independent Review is underway.
2. Following the Board Meeting, a Study Session was held to present progress to date and 2019 projections for major capital expenditures dealing with infrastructure and equipment upgrades and stormwater management measures.
To see video or read the minutes of this meeting click here: mwrd.legistar.com
Observer - Diane Edmundson Meeting Length: 2 1/2 hours
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) Board Meeting - December 21, 2017
Items to Watch for at Upcoming Meetings:
Observer - Diane Edmundson Meeting Length - 90 minutes
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) Board - December 14, 2017
The Board, without discussion except for one item, approved a number of items which result in a 2018 budget of $1.15 billion. The final numbers cannot be known until the 2% increase approved for all non-represented employees, which appears to be approximately $2.4 million, has been added to the totals.
It was this salary increase (Item 4, File # 17-1314) that involved the only discussion. Commissioner Walsh said that a memo from the Director of Human Resources had been provided to the Commissioners that morning which recommended that no increase be given. After the meeting, Commissioner Shore shared the memo with this observer. Among other factors the Director cited were the above-market starting and average salaries of MWRD employees and the salary increases over the past 10 years (20%) as compared to the Consumer Price Index (12.7%). It was noted that benefit packages should also be considered, but there was no comparison of the MWRD benefits to those benefits provided by others. The memo stated that for each percentage increase in salaries for non-represented employees, the additional cost would be $1.2 million.
However, the new collective bargaining agreements provide for a 2% salary increase in 2018, and this appeared to convince at least some of the Commissioners to approve the 2% increase for non-represented employees. The vote was 6 “yes” (with Commissioner Morita absent for this vote) and 1 “present” (Commissioner Walsh).
The only other item that was not procedural in nature was Item 2, File #17-1312, which contained a number of changes to the Tentative Budget. Among other things, this amendment increased the total appropriation by $10.5 million, which includes
Observer - Priscilla Mims Meeting Length - 35 minutes
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) Board Meeting - June 15, 2017
Significant Decisions Made:
Observer - Syvia Tillman Meeting Length: One hour fifteen minutes
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Board Meeting - Dec. 15, 2016
Key Actions Taken:
Comm. Walsh Replaces Comm. Santos
Item of Note:
Next MWRD Board meeting: Jan. 5 at 10:30 am. Note that per the MWRD’s Rules, the Chairs and Vice-chairs of all the Standing Committees (except for the Chair of Finance) shall be appointed by the President, with the approval of the majority of the Commissioners.
Observer - Priscilla Mims
Public Hearing on 2017 MWRD Budget - December 1, 2016
The Civic Federation was the only speaker at this Public Hearing. However, Commissioner Avila at the end of the hearing raised concerns about the process being followed for selecting people for Deputy Director positions.
Laurence Msall, President of the Civic Federation, a non-partisan government research organization, expressed support for the proposed $1.13 billion proposed budget, stating that:
However, Mr. Msall also expressed the concern over the size of the unfunded liabilities under the pension fund, despite the strides that the MWRD has taken and is taking. The Civic Federation’s report on the budget can be found HERE.
While not pertinent to the budget, Commissioner Avila expressed concern that only one person (presumably the Executive Director) was making decisions about who would be hired for Deputy Director positions. Executive Director St. Pierre stated that Deputy Directors are only hired when an existing Director states an intention to retire. When that happens and the Board approves a deputy position, there is a 3-person team who interviews candidates and makes a recommendation as to whom should be hired. President Spyropoulos suggested that the process be circulated for review by the Commissioners. Commissioner Shore pointed out that if any employee feels the process has been unfair, there are procedures in place to deal with any complaints.
Observer - Priscilla Mims
Individual authors are credited at the end of each report.