Teresa Alvarado Joins SPUR after Awkward Water District Exit

Teresa Alvarado retired from the Santa Clara Valley Water District last month, but not before trying to wring a few more dollars out of the Golden Spigot. In February, Alvarado announced she was trading her public agency post to head the local office at SPUR, the urbanist nonprofit that cheerleads “good planning and good government” in the Bay Area, two things Alvarado will hopefully learn about in her new job. In order to have her CalPERS benefits vest, she needed to work five years at the district. To reach that mark, Alvarado used her vacation hours to take off the month of April. Not such a big deal—but that’s where things start to go sideways. It turns out Alvarado incorrectly listed her last day as May 2, when her vacation hours only got her to April 26. Once the district caught the error, there were some concerns Alvarado may have retired short of her pension. She then attempted to make up the 29-hour shortfall by assigning herself menial tasks like reading memos and running a booth at public events. Interim CEO Norma Camacho, perhaps showing she’s not quite ready to let the good times roll like predecessor Beau Goldie, said thanks, but no thanks. Alvarado’s email account had already been deactivated and her office keys turned in. As it turns out, Alvarado already made her pension ($1,500 a month for life), so that could have been the end of it. Instead, Alvarado—at a base salary of $161,944 per year; $81 per hour—called and emailed Camacho for the extra hours, noting that her work proposal included “meaningful assignments,” such as sitting in a booth for six hours. Alvarado even threw the new CEO a little shade wondering why she was putting up “an obstacle for providing these services.” Camacho said she had other people on it, which led Alvarado to then go over her head and complain to district board members—all so she could get another $2,348 to do little or anything of value. When texted an interview request, Alvarado downplayed the whole deal, writing: “Too funny what’s leaked as scoop.” As part of a pattern when things aren’t going her way, she included one of Fly’s bosses on the text reply, perhaps in the hope of squashing the story. She did not respond to follow up requests for comment.

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31 Comments

  1. Question: Who represents the hard-bitten taxpayers? You know: the ones who have to pay for these unethical shenanigans? Either Teresa Alvarado has the necessary time vested — or she doesn’t.

    It’s pretty clear that Alvarado is short the required time. And she’s already QUIT.

    Will Norma Camacho cheat the taxpayers for her pal? If not, will the Board members pay off one of their cronies?

    I worked forty+ years, and saved for my retirement. At no time was I paid more than $23 an hour. Why didn’t Alvarez save some of that $81 an hour for her own retirement? Why should our taxes go to pay for someone who clearly has not worked enough time to qualify for the added pension she’s angling for?

    This is something that needs to stay on the front burner. If Alvarado couldn’t figure out the time necessary to qualify for the pension she wants, why should the public step in and save her sorry butt?

    And who represents the taxpayers?… oh, did I already ask that?

    So, what’s the answer? Does anyone represent us? Or are they all in cahoots, bilking the public at every opportunity?

    • THATS A GOOD ONE, BOTTOM LINE IS THE WHOLE DISTRICT IS ON THE SHAM, MAY 10 THEY WILL PASS A 2 MILLION DOLLAR NEW BOARDROOM WITH HD ETC, THEY SAY 600K BUT ITS TAX MONEY SO WATCH IT GO PAST 2 MILLION..https://tomtolosky.wordpress.com/2016/05/04/scvwd-waste-fraud-scvwd/comment-page-1/#comment-84 SAD THING IS THEY ALREADY PASSED IT WITH NO PUBLIC COMMENT NOT THAT THE PUBLIC MATTERS..
      Resolution to Set a Public Hearing on the Engineer’s Report for the
      Boardroom Technology Upgrade, Project No. 73274010 (San Jose).
      3.8. 16-0269
      Adopt the Resolution PROVIDING FOR THE NOTICE OF
      TIME AND PLACE OF PUBLIC HEARING ON THE
      ENGINEER’S REPORT for the BOARDROOM
      TECHNOLOGY UPGRADE PROJECT to occur on May 24,
      2016, at 6:00 p.m., at the Santa Clara Valley Water District
      Boardroom, at 5700 Almaden Expressway, San Jose,
      Manager: Sudhanshu Tikekar, 408-630-2424
      Attachment 1: Engineer’s Report
      Attachment 2: Public Hearing Notice
      Attachment 3: Resolution
      Attachment 4: Project Delivery Process Chart

      • and this is on the consent calendar, so its done deal, taxpayer hoodwinked just like TA, getting retirement when she was like a week short??

    • With all the illegal stuff taking place at the Water District…I can’t help buy wonder why The Attorney General’s Office hasn’t opened a file on them. And, I agree with Tom, we County employees have to check and re-check if and when is the best time to retire… and the one thing not to do especially when worrying about getting any retirement is NOT to retire early…not one day or two days early. If you have to work an extra month or two just to be sure, then work. She probably calculated her retirement day like she “calculated” all the deals she made at the Water District. In some small measure, this is kismet. However, I’m sure she will wrangle herself into her retirement pay……and I will be furious again that this darn department is still shameful and corrupt!! There is already documentation of her last day, retirement day etc…this dept and employee benefits need to be transparent and honest. Here’s hoping she gets her due!!! SPUR,the agency who hired her is my next area to watch especially since they hired her and they are involved in our county govt and PLANNING.. ANOTHER SIGN OF BAD THINGS TO COME..

      • I think the word you meant was “wangle” — less muscular, more manipulative.

  2. Readers should please note that “an obstacle for providing these services” in the article is a hyperlink to the email thread which is the basis for this article. Question for The Fly: Is this email thread publicly available or was it leaked to you by a confidential whistleblower? (Either way, looks like nice work!)

  3. Do you use any of that $81 an hour to purchase that labcoat she wore in the treatment plant video when she illegally posed as a health professional?

  4. > to head the local office at SPUR, the urbanist nonprofit that cheerleads “good planning and good government” in the Bay Area,

    If space aliens from planet Zzognarr vaporized SPUR and all its facilities, would anyone anywhere in the cosmos notice?

    Would would be missing from our daily lives?

    Other than the fact that there might be three fewer floors of “versatile event space” on the rental market in downtown SF.

    http://www.spur.org/about/about-urban-center/facility-rental

  5. Mayor Reed hoisted SPUR upon the City of San Jose. Years ago, Mayor Reed wanted San Jose to have a “seat” on the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). San Jose got the “seat” and Mayor Reed appointed then Councilmember Liccardo to represent San Jose on the MTC.

    Almost immediately thereafter and part of the MTC deal, SPUR showed up in San Jose headed by the daughter of a prominent commericial realestate developer; who just happened to be Chairman of the Board for Team San Jose-who was in charge of the Convention Center. As soon as the daughter assumed her position as Director of SPUR San Jose, her father resigned from Team San Jose.

    SPUR has been given preferential treatment at city hall ever since. SPUR is allowed virtually unlimited access to public officials and virtually unlimited time to speak at city council and or council committee meetings.

    Make no mistake, SPUR’s intention is social engineering according to urbanist goals, philosphies and pecuniary gain to certain members and or Developer supporters. SPUR has become, since its’ arrival in San Jose, an unelected adjunct arm of San Jose government functions and policy making decisions.

    Mayor Liccardo supports SPUR without hesitation.

    As to the shady business at the Water District, who is really surpised? The Water District has been screwing San Jose taxpayers of for many, many years in the past and is doing a fine job in doing so presently. (The Advanced Water Purification Center at the San Jose / Santa Clara Water Pollution Control Plant is but one ongoing royal screw-job.)

    The current personnel decisions concerning the position of Director of SPUR, San Jose is steeped in local political skullduggery. The long, aged arms, of the vicious and self-serving-political snake from District 5 during the 1990’s is still injecting the cancerous venom into local politics that occured during the tenure of this corrupt politician.

    My advice to San Jose VOTERS-under no circumstances should you vote for any Member of the San Jose City Council and or future candidates who support SPUR for any reason. Vote for SPUR at your own peril.

    My opinion, SPUR is the most powerful of the “Non-profits” for their members are; highly educated, well financed and their tentacles in Bay Area politics are nothing short of legion. SPUR is also a well-healed and oiled political machine; a hybrid of Tammy Hall by several orders of magnitude. Mayor Reed knew this and so did then Councilmember Liccardo.
    From my time period covering city hall politics from 1989, I have come to loath all “Non-profits” for over time. I have seen what the “Non-profits” really are-pernicious predatory parasites; influencing government’s policies and decisions in their favor-eventhough they are not elected by the voters to do so. SPUR is the most dangerous of the “Non-profits” because of their exceptional power to influence and or direct local politicians to do their urbanist doings.

    However, San Jose voters; because you are not down at city hall; attending council and or council committtee meetings, which everyone has an affirmative duty to particiapate in our great democracy to do so, SPUR is calling the shots. Me, I just write letters and give speeches warning about the influence that SPUR and the other “Non-profits” wroughts upon the voters.

    David S. Wall

    • > My advice to San Jose VOTERS-under no circumstances should you vote for any Member of the San Jose City Council and or future candidates who support SPUR for any reason.

      Got it!

      Programming the coordinates into my Tomahawk missiles.

      Just so I don’t take out too many innocent bystanders, would you care to list any Council members and candidates who are free of SPUR contamination?

      • Against SPUR? But why? They are making sure that private property rights sanctioned by the U.S. constitution are simply followed. Corporations have the right to buy property and should be able to build what they please….what is the problem bubble?

        Having thoughts similar to mine? Oh no….

        • > what is the problem bubble?

          A fair question.

          I’m for the U.S. Constitution, property rights, freedom of association (i.e. “corporations”) and the right of corporations to buy property and build just as any other citizen.

          I’m against cronyism and insiderism.

          SPUR looks and smells like crony insiderism.

          • Where were you during the last six months of the review of the general plan? I could have used company during my endless torture of SPUR spewing crap. I sat through each one sick at the koolaid these people were serving and drinking up themselves. It was a Liccardo chosen 40 member board (think SPUR, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, Water District people, greenbelt, and other insiders and cronies. It was a pre-baked show and it made me sick.

            Bubble you are SO right about SPUR….crony insiders all the way. And yes, Teresa Alvarado was on the task force too.

    • Thanks David that was a great little run down. I had to go look up SPUR to find out just what their goals and objective are.
      They make utopia sound so wonderful, like agenda 2,1 ABAG and several other socialist control freak organisation the goal is to pile everyone into crowded urban hell holes. Until you lose your home, or job to some project these people dreamed up you just have no idea how dangerous powerful and expensive these people can be.

      It wasn’t bad enough that we have a bunch of tax and spend politicians running amuck we now have a phantom unelected untouchable non profit dogooders running their agenda over the politicians that run our lives.

      Maybe it’s time to quit screwing around and bring in the federal goon squad and round the people up on racketeering charges. Where is J Edgar when you need him?

      As for Miss Alvarado when you have worked 40 plus years at a job, your 63+ your knees don’t work any more,then you get to retire. Other wise you just quit and started a new job. If you lost your benefits leaving a week to early well you’re too stupid to work for me, clever girl!

      • Empty gun…I’ve been fighting SPUR for many months. You were the one that derided me for saying that if people lose their jobs or homes due to a project like the Reserve Apartment demolition where approx. 672 people are being evicted in favor of a SPUR and SVLG voted upon project, then it’s tough sh*t for them. You were the one that said that that private property rights should be number one always. Screw people that have to move, screw people that lose their homes and jobs due to SPUR’s and SVLG’s agenda’s.

        Get your arguments straight. Are you with me or are you against me. Confused.

    • SPUR wants all Manufactured Home Parks gone. SPUR wants corporations to buy up all rent-controlled apartment buildings and demolish them in favor of high-density. Fine goal until you realize there isn’t anyone that can pay for a $4000 apartment and all the service workers are moving out.

      What’s wrong with social engineering David? I was mocked and laughed at for trying to explain SPUR’s position many times here on the board. Seems like no one wants to connect the dots on the site.

      • > SPUR wants corporations to buy up all rent-controlled apartment buildings and demolish them in favor of high-density.

        I’m against insider cronyism.
        I’m against rent control.

        It’s hard to know which rascals to root against more.

      • Jill,
        I am on the side of private ownership, the problem here is the land these trailer parks are on is own by someone other than the trailer owner. To be fair I think the park owners should be paying the trailer owner to move out as this Is a major investment these people expended to live here on the other hand they should have know full well the land was not theirs, they are only renting a space. Likewise apartment renters face the same problem.

        Back when I was starting out 40 years ago I looked into these places as a cheap way to live, I found out I could put down a down payment on a house for not much more than the payment on a motor coach/trailer,
        and the rent on a space. I rented a single room till I could save enough money for a down payment.
        When I could afford that house I rented a room out to make ends meet.
        I was glad to get a mortgage at 11% interest rate that I paid almost 10 years till interest rates came down in the late 80’s.

        On the other hand since SCOTUS ruled that governments may seize your property and give you pennies on the dollar and turn it over to a private developer for the express purpose of increasing tax revenue I am very much against this form of government sanctioned theft.

        By the way I have lost a job the the government seizing property and selling it to a crony left wing capitalist.
        I have lost a job the the government changing the water rules and running a whole industry out of town.
        I have had to move from one side of the country to the other side because the clean water act was so restrictive that you could not dump a glass of drinking water into the Hudson river.

        So yes Jill I am on the side of private ownership, property right and common sense environmental law.
        On the other hand screw Utopia!

  6. SOUNDS no different than the psychopaths that run the country or the golden spigot, how in world does one week short of calpers time get you retirement… this is why trup won gop taxpayer is fed up, soon we will oust the directors and managers at @scvwd. I;m sure there is SPUR RUNNING THERE ALSO. WELL come watch 5 10 16 6pm as they waste another two million so you can watch psychopaths in hd, and get meeting in blu ray av companies prepare to hoodwink millions from the taxpayer, its a church not a room so they will never get it right.

  7. If there is any legal recourse to stop this particular tick from sucking unearned taxpayer blood when she didn’t put in the time required to qualify for it, I would be happy to contribute a kilobuck or two to stop it.

    If nothing else, it would generate plenty of publicity — all bad. And maybe it can be timed for the next Board election.

  8. Watch the blatant show the Chair does leading up for the Boardroom Upgrade. 1:23:25
    http://scvwd.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=3&clip_id=1330
    Also the new Director John V had everyone give Theresa Alvarado a standing ovation at her last presentation – despite her reputation as a manger.
    The Directors all want a state of the art Audio Visual System, to get their job done! Director John V mentioned that he did not think the system was state of the art when he came to the District . I guess they should have laid out a golden carpet as well.

    • Its not State of the art as its not hd(do you want to look at them in hd or plans in hd????) ask what 200k went into upgrades to keep it state of the art, we even have the IT manager telling (email)techs not to do work in the boardroom so things will fail, another false flag/911……

  9. I’ve had the impression that for over a decade the district was a political house/fiefdom and all the officers of the agency as well as the incumbent board members were part of a tight knit group that supported each other politically and financially in various projects within and outside the agency. I’m hoping that as required by law, this non-partisan local government agency moves towards a future focused on the actual mission of providing wholesale treated water to retailers, manages the watershed for conservation and health, maintains and expands on infrastructure to bank water for dry years and the other basics you’d expect from a Water District.

    Based on this news item, and other developments the last couple of years, I am optimistic that things might be changing for the better.

  10. One of the wickedest people I have ever worked with/around. Always blaming lower level employees for some of the smallest, most insignificant mistakes imaginable. Calling people out and demanding apologies during meetings, via e-mail and on the phone. All the while posing as a thoughtful, understanding and sympathetic individual when the cameras are rolling.
    Sociopathic behavior!! The District is full of it!
    She’s not in it for the money, she wants power, so she can step on those that have to answer to her.
    I guess she wasn’t loved as a baby…….

  11. Just how many pensions might dedicated public servants like Ms. Alvarado be able accumulate? Quite a few by the sound of it. But never enough to keep them from whining that they can’t collect Social Security.
    Government Industries Inc.- What a colossal racket.

  12. > Where were you during the last six months of the review of the general plan?

    I was outside the bubble, being victimized by cronies and insiders.

    I’m only one tiny little pissant blogger. I can’t straighten out all the vermin and reptiles that need straightening out.

    I have chores to do and oppressive taxes to pay.