Water District CEO Gets Big Raise; Rates Going up

California may be on the precipice of an end-of-days drought, but our local water watchers’ money faucet remains tapped like the last call of happy hour. Earlier this month the Santa Clara Valley Water District board took up the topic of increasing salaries to remain competitive. Most employees received around a 5 percent bump in pay for the coming year. But when it came time to look at CEO Beau Goldie’s compensation, board members couldn’t stop themselves from making it rain. Linda LeZotte, sitting in for chair Gary Kremen, who had to attend his mother’s funeral, got the humblebrag started by reluctantly admitting the board and Goldie had “shown just incredible leadership” despite falling short of its top priority—reducing water consumption by 20 percent. She then proposed a 3.8 percent increase in Goldie’s pay to remain competitive with other government agencies, before suggesting an additional one-year 5 percent raise as a bonus. According to Transparent California, Goldie received $417,823 in salaries and benefits in 2013. After some back and forth with the ever-curmudgeonly Dick Santos on what was acceptable for the rest of employees, LeZotte inexplicably made a new motion to bump Goldie’s bonus up to 7 percent. Nai Hsueh jackknifed to second the proposal, which passed unanimously save for an abstention from Barbara Keegan, who cited her absence from Goldie’s performance review as the reason. (Real translation: She thinks Goldie is overpaid but didn’t want to say it out loud.) Like concert babies who forgot their ear plugs, the tone deaf board did all of this while water costs could increase much as 31 percent in the next year. It seems Kremen, the most vocal opponent of performance evaluations and pay bumps conducted in the mirror, is the only one who’s taking a vocal stand on the vainglorious nature of the board. Of course, that’s because he already made his money hooking people during his days as a pioneer of Internet dating.

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38 Comments

  1. Kremen is a techie like me. There is only binary, no analog grey areas between right and wrong. Our types aren’t schooled in grey schools of thought like philosophy. Maybe we read it for a good laugh, but at the end of the day right and wrong is very clear to us just like our code.

    So happy he was elected. One of the few RR clients I’m glad is there.

    • So, Mr. Morally Black and White:

      Where do you stand on human caused global warming?

      A. Skeptics are the moral equivalent of holocaust deniers and we’re all going to die unless we tax every carbon atom in the cosmos;

      B. Al Gore, Maurice Strong, James Hanson, Michael Mann, and the IPCC are perpetrating a mammoth scientific hoax, making energy more expensive, killing jobs, and denying essential survival resources to poor people around the globe.

      Which is it?

      • No doubt we caused it. So many ways to substantiate this. Look at tree rings, look at the isotopes in soot from soil samples. Never in the earths history has there been such a major climate shift, and looking at the data all of this started around the time of the industrial revolution.

        we’re all going to die unless we tax every carbon atom in the cosmos

        I think carbon tax is like the plastic bag tax, it hurts people more than it helps. You gotta remember, up until a few years ago I was only pulling in [email protected] chasing my dream of having a karaoke software empire. Most of our elected officials have no idea of what struggle really means.

        denying essential survival resources to poor people around the globe.

        This is changing as the US economy “Globalizes” South America, India, etc would be nowhere today if it wasn’t for the massive amount of globalization. Unfortunately these countries are rife with corruption (I think Argentina had a coke factory trying to unionize, and coke hired hitmen. India is still suffering from caste systems and women have no rights)

        It’s pretty black and white what caused global warming, and it’s pretty black and white what the solution is (renewable energy) Even the side effects of all this is fairly black and white (greed/corruption/lack of humanity)

  2. Kremen asked the CEO to giveback some of his salary – check out the 1.27.15 meeting around items 2.2 and 3.1 – you would have thought that aliens walked into the room
    The CEO compensation section 9.1 starts 2 hours and 34 minutes into the 1.27.15 meeting.
    Lawyer and clerk discussion goes until 3:04.

    9.3 addresses CEO Beau Goldie specifically starting at then CEO discussion begins.
    3:07 is the Director Lazotte first motion for 5% increase.
    Director Santos wants a 5% increase across the board, 3:12, motion died for lack of 2nd.
    At 3:15:20 Director Lazotte withdraws original motion, then proposes 3.8% increase compensation and 7% 1 year performance pay concludes @ 3:17.
    At the end they give him a 3.8% increase with a 8% bonus!!!!

  3. Take a walk up and down any of the waterways that SCVWD is charged with looking after. Observe the trash. Marvel at the way homeless encampments are permitted to establish and flourish to the point where it takes an expensive, elaborate campaign to remove them. Only in Public Employeeland, is such miserable failure redefined as glorious success and rewarded with ridiculously generous pay.
    Public employment. The Final Frontier. Go Boldly, Beau Goldie.

  4. “(Real translation: [Director Barbara Keegan] thinks Goldie is overpaid but didn’t want to say it out loud.)” No, abstention is assent to the will of the majority. It’s not at all the same as a noe. Director Keegan did not give evidence that she thinks Goldie is overpaid. She gave evidence that she didn’t want to take a position.

  5. > According to Transparent California, Goldie received $417,823 in salaries and benefits in 2013.

    $417,823 ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

    $417,823 ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

    $417,823 ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

    IT”S A FRICKING WATER DISTRICT!

    $417,823 is more than the President of the United States and the Governor of California makes.

    You people are nuts!

    And by you people, I mean SCVWD voters.

    • I just have to correct this ridiculous “It’s more than the president makes logic, because I hear it all the time as a redress to my own CEO.” $417,823 in “compensation AND BENEFITS” is NOT more than the President of the United States of America makes, not by a long shot. That means he has a salary that is likely about 60% of the above number, maybe a bit more. Benefits tend to cost 40 – 50% of the total cost for an employee. These benefits include vacation pay, health insurance, car allowances and pension costs. That being said the President of the USA, makes nearly $500,000 in SALARY PLUS benefits. And those benefits are substantial, they include housing (the big white one), all travel costs, all meals (those white house chefs), housekeeping, a vacation home (Camp David) plus the usual attendant benefits including vacation (generally those expenses are also paid as a benefit with the possible exception of the hotel and vacation food), health insurance and a very generous retirement package. The President’s total compensation and benefit package is significatly higher than $417K.

      But yes, $417K is a lot of money.

      • > I just have to correct this ridiculous “It’s more than the president makes logic, . . .”

        So, if it were EQUAL to what the President of the United States makes, it would be OK with you. Right?

      • Beau Goldie, $417,823 in salaries and benefits in 2013
        CEO, Santa Clara Valley Water District

        President of the United States $400,000

        Sparky Harlan $225,262
        CEO/Ex Oficio DIrector,
        Bill WIlson Center

        Vice President of the United States $230,700
        Majority leader, U.S. Senate $193,400
        Speaker of the House of Representatives $223,500

        Chief Justice, U.S. Supreme Court $223,500
        Associate Justice $213,900 av.

        All federal judges, median $119,270

        State chief justices, median $152,500
        State associate justices, median $146,917

        Governor of New York $179,000
        Governor of Illinois $177,500
        Governor of Michigan $177,000
        Governor of New Jersey $175,000
        Governor of Virginia $175,000
        Governor of California $173,987

        Governor of Texas $150,000
        Governor of Colorado $90,000
        Governor of Oregon $93,000
        Governor of Maine $70,000

        Median U.S. Household Income, 2011 $50,054

      • When you consider that a single Michelle vacation with her BFFs can cost the taxpayers $20million, any comparison to presidential compensation is ridiculous.

  6. First, let’s be clear on who is receiving the salary increases. The vote was for the CEO. Staff across the board have NOT received a 5% salary increase. We would like that for sure. I am a skilled technical Water District staff person who cannot afford to buy a house in this County. Please make sure your financial disgruntledness is accurate of who is receiving the benefits.

  7. What a freaking joke. Hope you all go jump into our bone dry lakes. Screw water conservation, I am going to water my lawn as I wish because you idiots don’t seem to give a damn but pad your own wallets. Linda I respected you on the city council but now you are just another money hungry worthless person. Shame on this group of idiot’s.

    • The Water District’s own website give the salary ranges for every job classification in the district. It’s astounding just to see how many job titles there are.

  8. In 2013 according to employee compensation information provided by the district to the Mercury News his salary was $269,304 and a total compensation of $419,737. Comparision that year the San Jose City Manager made $227,975 in base salary and $419,219 total compensation.

  9. $417k is a lot more than the CEO of my company makes. And we’re doing great. Way more than a public servant needs.

    Corruption!