ghcsd

Chris Sliz, workshop facilitator from Regional Government Services, outlines the Golden Hills Community Services District's goals and objectives in an open meeting held Saturday.

The Golden Hills Community Services District board of directors met Saturday for a special workshop to discuss the district's goals and objectives.

Several short-term goals were addressed in the workshop, including the water rate structure, which was approved on March 1, 2018 and went into effect April 1, 2018. The restructured rate provides for capital improvements and infrastructure maintenance to ensure a safe and reliable water supply.

"I am particularly proud of the topics of the water rate study, and the due diligence that we took looking through all of the reports, pausing when we didn't understand something, and ensuring the water, which I think is a huge improvement in the foundation of the district moving forward," said Director Marilyn White.

Solid waste was another short-term goal that the district deemed was completed through the counsel and staff review of actions to date, and an enhanced website link to provide specific GHCSD information.

The short-term goal of capital improvements was deemed partially completed, but still a living document, in that a backhoe was replaced and a stand-alone capital improvement plan was initiated. Other improvements included the completion of the Steuber Well, replacement of meters due to aging batteries and meter change-outs resulting from rate restructure.

"I think we have accomplished some major infrastructure improvements ... we made some great progress and completed some major projects," said Director David Shaw.

The district's goal to recruit a new general manager was completed with the hiring of Susan Wells on June 1, 2018 with an 18-month employment contract.

Finance revisions to the monthly reporting format were approved by the Finance Committee, and transitioning to fund accounting began in fiscal year 2018-19.

"I believed we have identified and pulled forward a better financial statement that everybody can read," added John Buckley, board president.

The 2018 goals included the following:

• Ensure proper staffing levels;

• Communication and technology methods for consumer interaction;

• Customer survey to be implemented within three years to collect community expectations;

• Strengthen the partnership between the district and the Kern County Sheriff's Office to support efforts and enhance law enforcement in Golden Hills;

• Analyze land holdings and ensure resources are used appropriately on behalf of Golden Hills residents;

• Further address the financial security of the district;

• Continued analysis of purchases; and

• Ensure the water quality and sustainability are met.

"As a consumer, I just want to thank the board for the improvements in the board meetings. I feel the consumers are more involved in the board meetings," said Barbara Miller, Golden Hills resident.