Water District CEO Beau Goldie On Chopping Block, Travels to Savannah, Georgia to Duck Board

Beau Goldie will get on a plane today and fly to Savannah, Georgia. By all accounts it should be an extraordinary trip, and the timing for the trip is no less extraordinary.

As CEO of the Santa Clara Valley Water District, a $377 million public agency that supplies water and flood control for 1.9 million people, Goldie’s job status has never been less secure.

Last week, San Jose Inside confirmed that the District Attorney’s office has launched an investigation following our report on fast-tracked contracts and allegations of conflicts of interest and fraudulent billing. The district’s Board of Directors has already held a series of meetings to review Goldie’s performance—they’re taking steps to remove him—and a recent report by the Mercury News noted a water district employee survey that found just 20 percent of staff has trust in executive leadership.

Goldie’s response to these reports has been comically disjointed, and it belies a bunker mentality in which knocks on the hatch inspire paranoia and often go ignored. Rather than respond to multiple interview requests made over several weeks, the CEO defended his actions in the comments section of a recent San Jose Inside article. He spelled his user name “Beau Goldoe.”

Sources say the CEO and the district’s head of communications, Teresa Alvarado, have been crafting a line-by-line rebuttal to last month’s investigative report, published Sept. 23. With this kind of sense of urgency, we might see it any week now—don’t forget, winter is coming.

But for now, Goldie flies south, and the timing and details of the taxpayer-funded trip are remarkable.

In an emergency closed session meeting last Thursday, the CEO informed the district’s seven-person board that he would not be able to attend the next board meeting, arguably the most important of his career. The board is demanding answers related to San Jose Inside’s report, and they want the matter discussed in public.

What Goldie failed to mention in closed session—and the CEO is building quite a reputation for omitting important information—is that he will miss Tuesday’s board meeting to attend a non-essential conference for water executives at the Savannah Hilton Desoto, located in the city’s historic district.

What Goldie also failed to tell the board is that he’s turning the three and a half day conference into a seven-day trip, almost all of which will end up on the taxpayer’s dime. Goldie could argue that the trip has been in the works since September, when he apparently made an initial request for travel, but documents obtained through a Public Records Act (PRA) request show that the CEO didn’t even register for the conference until last Friday, Oct. 2, a day after he told the board he needed to miss its next meeting.

The conference runs from Sunday to Wednesday, yet Goldie’s travel request notes that he’ll be staying at the Savannah Hilton for a total of six nights. He booked a $680 plane ticket and his hotel stay for the conference—really just two days when you cut out a Sunday afternoon registration and a superfluous water plant tour Wednesday morning—will cost approximately $1,725.

Add on a $38 per diem and a $795 registration fee for the conference, where Goldie will notably not be speaking, and the total tab to see Savannah, rub a few elbows and perhaps put out a few job feelers—all while missing the most important water board meeting of his career—comes to $2,786.

It’s not unusual for spouses to come along on such trips, as long as they pay their own way, and The 2015 Conference for Urban Water Utility Executives offers an top-notch “spouse/guest” package. If the CEO’s spouse, Susie, does attend the trip, she’ll have the option of partaking in a prix fixe menu of historic tours through cobblestone streets and five-star lunches. Attempts to confirm if the Goldies are attending the trip together, however, were stymied by the district’s communications director.

Alvarado ignored numerous requests this week to discuss this story by phone, as well as answer a simple question of whether the CEO’s spouse was also attending the trip to Savannah. Rather than relay the question to the CEO, Alvarado wrote in an email Wednesday: “I have no knowledge of Beau's travel and registration costs. I assume PRA response will provide that. His personal expenses are his personal business.”

When the records came in Thursday afternoon, San Jose Inside again tried to reach Alvarado to discuss the story. The head of communications had this response:



I most likely will not be able to attend c2sv, the killer two-day music+tech conference organized by San Jose Inside’s parent company, Metro Silicon Valley. (Plugger!)

Savannah could be Goldie’s last work trip as CEO of the water district, so his desire for a little southern comfort is understandable. It’s probably just a coincidence that Tuesday will be the first regularly scheduled board meeting he’ll miss this year.

Josh Koehn is a former managing editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley.


  1. Fire him without the Bronze parachute. Thank you to Gary Kremen for leading in this regard. Teresa Alvarado is the best at what she does and should stay; despite the oblique reference to her failure to return Josh’s call. Sometimes there is no satisfactory answer.

    • Fire him with the lead parachute. No-one who has cost the taxpayers so much money should have an easy way out to live the rest of his life in splendor at taxpayer expense. When military personnel or public safety personnel are terminated for malfeasance they lose their pensions. Why should Goldie be any different?

  2. Amen to that. Its clearly an outrageously wasteful organization and needs a shake up. Double thanks to Gary Kremen.

  3. No surprise to read that Goldie is squeezing the last couple of grand out of the golden spigot.

  4. Josh is this how a “professional” reporter presents a story in 2015? Legit Content aside you’re about as petty and juvenile as ever. Why would anyone speak to you?

  5. The District has done a great job dealing with the drought . There is no ounce of proof of any wrongdoing. Until the DA weighs in. People in Santa Clara County should be grateful there are public servants providing essential service and making a fraction of others make in the high tech industry. Stop piling on and whining.

    • MAXZEEGREATEST opined: “There is no ounce of proof of any wrongdoing.” What cave have you been living in Max? “… and making a fraction of others make in the high tech industry.” I repeat, what cave have you been living in Max?

      • Yes I am yet to see an ounce of proof . I have been living in this Valley for 40 years and I am very familiar with District operations although I have never worked for the District. And for those of you who are mathematically challenged I would say $290k is a fraction of what Yahoo $12,000,000, Google Gazzillions CEOs make and the list goes on. I can live without Yahoo or Match.com but can’t live without water. Most of you have public employees envy and don’t know a good thing even if it hits you in the face. Go live somewhere else and see how public service is provided .

        • > Most of you have public employees envy and don’t know a good thing even if it hits you in the face. Go live somewhere else and see how public service is provided .

          What kind of “democracy” is it where the government tells the people that they’re not good enough, and then the government fires the people?

          I recall a news story twenty years ago where the Communist Party newspaper of Cuba scolded the Cuban people for not attaining the sugar production quota set by government bureaucrats.

          The government bureaucrats were geniuses; the people were greedy, lazy, insolent, slugs. It was testimony to the wonderfulness of the government and the Communist Party that they actually tolerated the Cuban people.

        • See no evil, eh Max? So, Max, are you a district employee sucking up to the boss? If you haven’t seen the proof of mismanagement at The Golden Spigot, you haven’t been keeping up on the news. Even the moribund Murky News has written story after story about the mismanagement of the District. As for the salary issue, the water district’s net asset value is about $2 Billion. Yahoo’s value is $35 billion, and Google’s is $395 Billion.

          • JMO–try building 11 reservoirs and three water treatment plants for $2 billion. BTW I never worked for the Water District. I just observe by reading this blog that few of you have Public Employee Envy (PEE) syndrome. It seems you have PEE in your blood that somehow clouds your judgement and make you angry at people that are trying to provide public service. There are bad apples everywhere let’s keep the paint brush for the canvas…

          • Max:

            > JMO–try building 11 reservoirs and three water treatment plants for $2 billion.

            Do they have to be seismically safe?

            If they don’t have to be seismically safe, I think I can do it for less than $ 2 billion.

            Maybe even less than $1 billion.

            I don’t have to hire Water District or Democrat Party cronies, do I? That tends to bump of the cost.

        • A guy who calls himself the greatest but never boasts of his abilities? Sounds like a legend in his own mind to me.

          • Mini, not Max: the reservoirs were all built decades ago. The $2 billion is the current value of all the districts assets as set forth in the most recent CPA audit of the district. No reservoirs were built during Goldie Boy’s tenure. Get a clue Mini before you gush over the water district under Goldie’s tenure. Public employee envy? You’re delusional.

  6. Sorry beg to differ, running the board meetings and working at the district, i see the waste, fraud, the RMC deal mirrors every dept, including IT and the board room which taxpayers have already spent over 3 million and they want to build a new one when they let this got to waste by orders from managers not to touch equipment, with Beaus blessings. Sure Gary is doing his thing but myself and other workers have proven to him the fraud going on in the board room, we have been complaining for 5 years. so the chair and many others are doing little, sure fire him, but the board rubber stamps everything and listens to no one but themselves. read the audit 2012 it shows how upper managers operate and wonder why there is not more lawsuits? Yes they do some good but overall the way workers are treated, fraud, managers with little or no training, leads to this. If the district was doing a great job they would not be wasting millions on wireless, equipment that sits, multi EOC centers, ear pieces, food, perks, etc. etc. etc.





    read the fired temp who saw and knew to much….http://www.mercurynews.com/drought/ci_28925891/california-drought-santa-clara-valley-water-district-board?source=infinite-up

    How Do You Sleep At Night? • 2 days ago
    I contracted at the district. The general lack of ethics was joked about constantly.

    The three midgets that run the IT department in descending order:

    a-The idiot who came highly recommended by a senior staff member (Deputy)
    b-The Spineless One (Unit Manager)
    c-The Sociopath (Help Desk Supervisor)

    These three abusive A**HOLES should be investigated!!!!

    They are just as guilty as ANYONE at the district. I’m sure everyone is more concerned with the CEO and the larger, more exposed issues at hand. But these “men”, probably handle quite a bit of the taxpayer dollars, and they, in turn, should be looked at as a department. They should be investigated for prejudice, impartial treatment of employees, nepotism, racism, falsifying documents, destroying evidence in the form of e-mails and documents, and in general: MAKING IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR PEOPLE TO PUT IN A LEGITIMATE 8 HOURS AND GET PAID FOR A HARD DAY WORKED!

    Guys like this are on easy street at the SCVWD and it’s just one cover-up after another. They know where the bodes are buried. Maybe they get a cut from the Board Room upgrades??? They are like corporate mobsters. But that would be giving them too much credit. They are like COCKROACHES, and dear Mr. District Attorney please be ready when you turn on the lights……..
    • Reply•Share ›

    paul goeltz How Do You Sleep At Night? • 2 days ago

    a-The idiot who came highly recommended by a senior staff member (Deputy)
    b-The Spineless One (Unit Manager)
    c-The Sociopath (Help Desk Supervisor)


    • she and many others are hired for there name, most of the psychopaths at the district are very unfriendly and think they are in a class by themselves

  7. Lets not forget when she used district email to announce to the world she was running for office (on tax payers dime, and as karma rules , she lost) but what happened nothing a soft stop that from either the cao or ceo??? real fair.

  8. with 12 paid holidays that County Employees get, one of which is tomorrow, October 12, and 4 personal days and a minimum of 2 weeks of vacation a year, all at the expense of the tax payer, it is rather amazing anything gets done at the County level. Maybe if the County Board of Stupidvisors did not take the whole month of July off, maybe more could get done. The level of incompetence, bullying, managing by fear and intimidation is astounding. I ask myself, If it is this bad at the County level, I can only imagine how rife with stupidity and incompentence the state and feds are, but we only have to look at Moon Beam Brown and Ovomit to know just how bad it is.

  9. The water district’s done a good job managing the drought???? Are you crazy, 7 our of 10 reservoirs in Santa Clara County cannot be filled to capacity because they are seismically unsafe, that means they are not safe in an earthquake and cannot be used to capacity. The State mandated, that means the State made them fix Anderson, but the rest of the reservoirs are still not fixed…it could rain for 40 days and nights, but if you cannot fill the reservoirs, you’ll never have enough water. but the WD done a fine job?? 4 years into the drought and they are finally coming around to figuring out there’s a problem. and Gov Mood Beam wants to build a Delta Tunnel?!! You are delusional if you think these people know what they are doing, can do what needs to be done and at best give a crap about you and me. They spend our money, that’s what they are good at.

    • It has been dry for four years and you are able to shower, flush the toilets and water your lawn two times a day among other things. The industry continues to thrive. I say that is an accomplishment and well managed water supply. I believe the reservoirs were built for flood protection and somehow morphed into water supply application. Seismic upgrades are due to ever changing regulations and aging infrastructure. I see however you have deep seeded anger and issues, you might want to get professional help. Hatred towards public employees is eating your liver and might not be best for you. Thank the Lord we live in Santa Clara County…Hallelujah!!!!!!!

    • A note of correction for you…Anderson is still not fixed and is limited to 50% capacity. It is due to be demolished in 2017 and rebuilt. I am not holding my breath that the work will even commence in 2017.

  10. Most money goes to rich cities,creaks,reaches, waste, pork, and sadly a lot pays the upper staff, which if you search for the audit 2012 will tell you is just like what your reading, and now its coming apart, they did good years ago however, when they built the palace, we started buying hearing aids, flat panels, tons of excess, and now you get a top that is mostly corrupt, they talk the talk, do some good talk, but most is bad. They wanted me to stop all claims against scvwd for my personnel items back (or money as they tossed them) but would only give me what is due if i dropped all claims, which i will not nor will many others, this has been coming for years, they can lie and bully no longer, just ask to see purchase orders, or get a real audit and you will just be shocked of loss, waste, and were, what, why, is it???? SAD TO SAY BUT GLAD ITS UNFOLDING AS THEY HAVE RUINED MANY LIFE’S, AND STOLEN TO MUCH TAX PAYERS MONEY.

    • I assume you are talking about South Carolina where they had nine dam failures. I agree with you.

  11. This whole water district board is a joke, spending our money and then charging us for charges. It nothing more than a good ole boys / women club to pad their bank accounts.

  12. What’s scary is that this kind of official corruption is rampant throughout local and state bureaucracies. I’d like to see an article on the total mess that VTA created when the VTA bureaucrats decided they could run a transportation system better than the private sector, taxpaying bus companies that competed for the contracts.

    The result was sadly predictable: the VTA budget exploded because of politics (every job must be at union scale, cars purchased by the taxpaying public are given to individuals to run as a taxi service, or for their own private use, tax revenue was eliminated, etc.)

    How has transportation been improved by these arrogant VTA know-nothings? And who makes up all the lost tax revenue that disappeared along with the private sector bus companies?

    The problem is political, and it’s growing exponentially: now Gov. Moonbeam wants his “leagacy”: a $100+ billion white elephant “bullet train”, which will have to have fares subsidized throughout all eternity. As if we need yet another way to go from SF to LA, when we’ve already got inexpensive and efficient airlines that make the trip in one hour, and Greyhound, and Caltrain, and Amtrack, and Uber, and our own cars.

    We can get from one end of the state to another right now, in a 60 minute plane ride. They claim the “bullet” train will take “only” 4½ hours. But just like the railroads in the 1800’s, every little town will demand a stop. That 4.5 hour trip is only a politician’s promise. Does anyone believe them?

    It would be better to build a giant 300 foot tall pyramid in the Central Valley, with a portal in the side to allow the full moon to shine a beam into the interior, and onto a golden tablet with one word: LEGACY.

    That pyramid would be much cheaper than Brown’s train to nowhere — and the rights of way and the land that must be bought to provide dozens of new train stations and parking lots would still keep paying property taxes. So Moonbeam’s Pyramid is the way to go.


    OK, rant over. The fix is already in, and neither the water district, nor VTA, nor Gov. Moonbeam’s ‘legacy’ project will be even slowed down for an hour by rational thinking, or by taking the taxpaying public into consideration.

  13. “As if we need yet another way to go from SF to LA, when we’ve already got inexpensive and efficient airlines that make the trip in one hour, [you forgot to add in the time for the trip from home to the airport, plus the 90 minutes you should arrive before flight time] and Greyhound, and Caltrain, and Amtrack, and Uber, and our own cars.” Wow, when did CalTrain and Uber start SF to LA service? What’s the cost per trip? “We can get from one end of the state to another right now, in a 60 minute plane ride.” See above, and since when is SF one end of the state, and LA the other end? Did I miss out on the secessions north of SF (one-third of the state geographically) and south of LA (which contains California’s second most populous city)? Have you ridden the French TGV trains? I have. They are fast, quiet, efficient, have great leg room, exceptional club cars, and are cost effective. You can get from Paris to Marseille, 622 miles, (one-third greater distance than SF to LA) in 3 hours 5 minutes without the 2+ hour arrival before departure as is required when you fly. And the train stations are in the city center, not a 40-60 minute cab ride away (another cost in time and money), as with airports. “That pyramid would be much cheaper than Brown’s train to nowhere…” So now SF to LA is a trip to nowhere? “…nor Gov. Moonbeam’s ‘legacy’ project will be even slowed down for an hour by rational thinking…” You call your statements above rational? Sleep it off and try again, Smokey. And what nexus is there between all the above comments and Goldie and the water district?

    • JMO,

      Since you asked (in no particular order):

      • Uber will go anywhere the fare pays, just like a taxi. It’s up to the driver.

      • You ignored bus service. That’s signinificant, because unlike the ‘bullet’ train, buses can go to lots of places that trains cannot, and they can do it much cheaper. They pay taxes, while this train will suck up immense tax resources. Buses are clean and comfortable, and their convenient, inexpensive service to anywhere trumps the ‘bullet’ train argument all by itself.

      • Next, I’ve taken so many flights between NorCal and SoCal that I’ve lost count. For a couple of years Southwest Airlines gave me a freebie: I could take anyone along on any flight during the next year for free, because I had made more than 50 round trips in one year. So I’m familiar with that mode of travel. It is super easy, and although it’s ‘recommended’ to arrive 90 minutes before a flight, once you’ve taken a couple flights that can be cut down to twenty minutes or so. And we don’t know how early train riders will have to arrive before departure. No doubt Homeland Security will be running interference at ‘bullet’ train stations, too.

      • What’s the cost per trip, you ask? When I was traveling a lot it was around $100 with an advance fare purchase. Probably a little more now, but when the cost of subsidies is figued in, the ‘train to nowhere’ cannot possibly compete on price. All taxpayers will pay the price for the few who use the train.

      • As for the time it takes to go to the airport, what, you think going to the train station is instantaneous? In the end there won’t be a whole lot of difference, and that cannot possibly justify the cost of $103 billion. And that’s the gov’t’s cost number. Do you believe them? Really?

      • I don’t know what the secessions north of SF means, but again, bus service is perfectly capable of doing the job, as are regional airlines and cars. As for San Diego, that trip takes an hour and fifteen minutes. LA takes an hour. So what? They’re both far quicker than the “bullet” train, even including airport delays.

      “So now SF to LA is a trip to nowhere?” You didn’t understand that I was referring to Manteca and similar villages? Then you haven’t kept up with the issue, because that’s been discussed a lot. It will be a long, long time before Moonbeam’s legacy project connects LA and SF.

      None of your arguments trumps the fact that this unnecessary white elephant will be preposterously expensive, and that it will eliminate current tax revenue, and that fares will have to be permanently subsidized forever, or that this is only because the governor wants his name on a vast, immensely expensive, and totally unneeded legacy project. He could not care less how much it hurts the taxpaying public. See, he feels he’s entitled.

      Finally, I tied this in with the water district, you didn’t notice? And yes, my statements are completely rational: I am one of the ones expected to pay for this unneeded, wasteful, and 100% ego-driven monstrosity.

      Now I’d like to see your arguments explaining why you believe this “bullet train” is something the state needs, and why we shouldn’t use much less costly alternatives? Why is this such a priority? Or are all the pot holes filled now?

    • > Have you ridden the French TGV trains? I have. They are fast, quiet, efficient, have great leg room, exceptional club cars, and are cost effective. You can get from Paris to Marseille, 622 miles, (one-third greater distance than SF to LA) in 3 hours 5 minutes without the 2+ hour arrival before departure as is required when you fly.


      I think we’ve addressed this before, but you seem to have forgotten what you once knew.

      By the time the “fast, quiet, efficient” high speed rail (with great leg room, exceptional club cars, and cost effective) is put into full operation (2029?, 2033?, 2040?), California will be spanned from north to south and east to west with a network of high speed dedicated carriage ways for self driving vehicles — cars, limos, buses, vans, ubers, lyfts, etc. etc.

      There will be endless options for cost, speed, comfort, and amenities for people to get from anywhere to anywhere in California safely and efficiently.

      The $68 billion (plus plus plus) High Speed Rail is as old fashioned and foolish as a public transport system based on ships with oars.

      Look out the window, JMO.

      You live in Silicon Valley.

  14. i OFFERED TO HELP THE VTA as i lived in Europe many years, on the street car system, but they again don’t want to listen and what did we end up with a system that will cost taxpayers for decades, i forget the fool in charge but standard answer if we build it they will come, wrong, it has to be done like it is in Europe. No one in public service thinks in america, or the ones that do are no promoted or let go… very sad, only the sick psychopaths are left.

  15. The public’s trust in the Santa Clara Valley Water District is of paramount importance to our Board of Directors and to me, as our charge is to effectively manage the public’s money in delivering vital water resources services to the community. Recent news articles and allegations from an employee may have raised concerns that impact this trust.

    As the water district’s chief executive officer, I have complete confidence in our systems of checks and balances and of the people who manage our contracting processes. I believe that the public’s money has been used appropriately and the district’s executive staff has behaved properly. I welcome any objective third party review.

    To provide the opportunity to openly address these matters, the Board will be discussing them at its regular board meeting on October 27, 2015. The public is encouraged to attend or view on-line (www.valleywater.org/About/BoardMeetings.aspx).

    Beau Goldie
    Chief Executive Officer
    Santa Clara Valley Water District

    • A few questions for you;

      Did you participate, in any way, with the South Bay Water Recycling (SBWR) MASTER PLAN and the selection and the award of the contract with RMC Water and Environment for the SBWR MASTER PLAN? If so, please describe your participation.

      Did you or your SCVWD assigns, participate in the selection of the six (6) member panel that rated the participants in competition for the SBWR MASTER PLAN contract and or the selection of the two (2) consultants “invited” to participate in the oral interview portion of the rating process, in which RMC Water and Environment was selected? If so, identify.

      Did you authorize or have knowledge of the hiring of any SBWR employee or retiree, as a part-time and or consultant employee, who facilitated the RMC Water and Environment contract with the City of San José that produced the SBWR MASTER PLAN? If so, identify.

      Did you and or your SCVWD assigns, ensure the SCVWD would have RMC Water and Environment take financial and intellectual advantage of City of San José officials in the construction of the SBWR MASTER PLAN, favoring SCVWD’s position, at great cost to San José and Tributary Agency rate payers? (This is a YES or NO answer-caution…City of San José Office of the Auditor has an ongoing audit of SBWR.)

      Are your responses, to the aforementioned questions, truthful?

      David S. Wall

  16. If anyone believes that i have a few dams for sale cheap, this will not unfold in the boardroom but you and your managers will be serving time for the way you have treated personnel. and for your lies, theft of tax payers money, misuse of funds and many others, the book will come open, worse than the audit 2012. So the rmc issue is just tip of iceberg, many employees and ex employees have lots to say. what is great is when a few of you serve time for the crimes you have committed. the way i here it jail is not nice, and for sure not nice on your type.

  17. Headline:

    Water District CEO Beau Goldie On Chopping Block, Travels to Savannah, Georgia to Duck Board

    He’s going to the duck board??

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