Changing the charter for the Virgin Valley Water District to allow election of all five board members, also could lead to higher per-meeting pay for the directors, changing the number of directors and redistricting the election areas.
The VVWD directors are to vote today, Tuesday, Aug. 21, if they want to schedule a public workshop to discuss the major change in how the board is selected.
In his pre-meeting memorandum for the change, which was requested by Director Ted Miller at the VVWD board’s Aug. 6 meeting, General Manager Ken Rock wrote that the VVWD attorney Bo Bingham believes there may be constitutional issues attached to any changes in the charter.
The VVWD was created in 1993 by the Nevada Legislature. The charter allowed for five directors, one appointed by the Mesquite City Council and one named by the Bunkerville Town Board, with the others elected.
But Rock notes that conditions have greatly changed since the charter was adopted.
Rock said that business has increased 10 fold and director responsibilities have increased accordingly. But they still get paid the $80-per-meeting stipend set in 1993.
The district’s election areas were set up for equal representation for all consumers, but also considered the water rights contributed by the Mesquite and Bunkerville water districts as they were combined into the VVWD.
While those election districts have never been modified, the populations in those districts “have changed dramatically.”
A solution for that iniquity may be to increase the number of elective districts and board members.
Rock noted that Warren Hardy, the VVWD’s Carson City lobbyist, suggested that if the charter gets changed, the new version should include language allowing periodic adjustments in the voting districts or director compensation.
The Mesquite City Council has been asked to give its support to the charter changed during its Aug. 28 meeting. The Bunkerville Town Board also is to take up the issue at its Aug. 30 meeting.
The VVWD Board also may modify the districts drug and alcohol policy.
Rock notes in his memorandum to the board that the district’s current policy is “viewed… as effective.”
However he suggests changing the policy to allow random testing for all holders of commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs).
He notes drivers of heavy vehicles have greater potential “to endanger staff or the general public than other employees.” He notes the random testing is less expensive than all-staff testing.
The current policy allows for testing if a supervisor notices suspicious behavior. Rock wants to keep that in place as it helps to identify employees who might be ill, under prescription medications or are too tired to operate a vehicle.
He said the board might also want to consider expanding the policy to other job descriptions, periodically or randomly or for pre-employment screening.
The board also is schedule to award the contract for drainage repairs on Canyon Crest, where a two-inch, brass valve on an exposed, unconnected, future service line blew off on Aug. 6. With pressure of 130 pounds per square inch, the flow of water was 1,000 gallons per minute and caused erosion damage.
Three contractors looked at the site. The bids are to be opened Aug. 21 and the contract awarded.
District Hydrologist Aaron Bunker is scheduled to update the board on his work on proposed right of way requests for water sources at Virgin Peak and Nickel Creek in the Gold Butte area. The VVWD Board has voiced concern that if Gold Butte were to become at National Conservation Area with Wilderness or a National Monument that the VVWD’s rights of way would be protected.
Rock also is to give his general manager’s report.