The Vallecitos Water District (VWD) recently received two awards from the Special District Leadership Foundation (SDLF). VWD received the District Transparency Certificate of Excellence in recognition of its outstanding efforts to promote transparency and good governance. VWD also received the “District of Distinction – Silver Level” accreditation for its sound fiscal management policies and practices in district operations.
“The Transparency Certificate of Excellence award is a testament to VWD’s commitment to open government,” said, Mike Sannella, VWD Board President. “Our staff is to be commended for their contributions that empower the public with information that facilitates engagement and oversight.” To receive the award, VWD demonstrated the completion of essential governance transparency requirements, including conducting ethics training for all board members, properly conducting open and public meetings, and filing financial transactions and compensation reports to the State Controller in a timely manner.
“For the District of Distinction – Silver Level accreditation, SDLF provides an independent audit review of the last three years of the district’s operations to ensure prudent fiscal practices,” said Neil McCormick, SDLF Chief Executive Officer. The committee members who review the audits are volunteers from the special district community, including district controllers, directors of finance and certified general managers.
In addition, the District’s Board of Directors and executive staff must also show proof of educational training in public governance, as well as compliance with ethics and harassment prevention training. Furthermore, in order to receive the recognition, the District’s website must include posting of transparency requirements, including: election procedures and deadlines, posted board meeting schedules and agendas, current district budget, most recent financial audit, and a list of compensation of Board members and staff or a link to the State Controller’s webpage with the data.
The VWD has provided water, wastewater, and reclamation services to San Marcos; the community of Lake San Marcos; parts of Carlsbad, Escondido and Vista and other unincorporated areas in north San Diego County for more than 65 years. Originally founded as the San Marcos County Water District in 1955 by a group of local citizens, the District was formed in accordance with Division 12 of the Water Code to provide imported water from Northern California and the Colorado River. The San Marcos County Water District continued to grow as an independent, special district and in May of 1989, changed its name to the Vallecitos Water District. Today, VWD currently serves a population of more than 105,000 within its 45-square-mile boundary.