default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

Local special district pay is modest, but varied

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Tuesday, July 5, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 5:58 am, Wed Jul 6, 2011.

Directors of special districts in the Lodi area receive generally modest compensation, but the amount can vary quite a bit from district to district, according to a News-Sentinel survey.

Rural communities outside Lodi and Galt are too small to have a city government, so many have fire, water and other districts with an elected board of directors.

A number of these board members serve on a completely voluntary basis for what is known in government lingo as "special districts." Others receive a small stipend or mileage. Directors at two local districts receive supplemental health insurance.

"The meeting stipends are hardly a way of making a living." said Kevin Eckely, a spokesman for the California Special Districts Association. "But it recognizes there is a value for the contributions they are making."

Two board members for the Liberty Rural Fire Protection District, which serves Acampo east of Highway 99, receive reimbursement for supplemental health care insurance not covered by Medicare. Ted Leventini, one of the district's three board members, has declined reimbursement. However, it costs Liberty Fire taxpayers $723.63 for premiums on behalf of board members Robert Erman and William Ward.

"I'm certainly glad that we get it," Ward said.

Ward said he is deserving because he has missed only two of the monthly board meetings in the 25 to 30 years he's been on the Liberty board, once to attend a funeral and another because he thinks he was in the hospital at the time.

Ward said the News-Sentinel should come to the fire station on Bruella Road and see how well it's run and to check out all the new fire equipment.

"I think we are spending our money wisely," he said.

In the Lodi area, board members for the Lockeford Community Services District receive $25 per meeting, and the board president gets $50. The Lockeford districts provides domestic and irrigation water, sewer service and plans to develop the community's first park.

"I doubt very seriously if any of he directors ran for office knowing they would get a reimbursement," Lockeford board President Mike Henry said. "It is so minuscule that people would laugh. They ran for dedication and commitment to serve Lockeford."

Bill Stokes, a Thornton farmer, serves on three special district boards — Woodbridge Irrigation District, which provides irrigation water to farmers in the Woodbridge, west and south Lodi, and Thornton; the Thornton Rural Fire District; and Reclamation District 348, which maintains Mokelumne River levees in the Thornton area.

Stokes gets $75 per meeting and 25 cents a mile from his home to the Woodbridge Irrigation District meetings, a flat $75 per reclamation district meeting and nothing for the fire board. Typically, each of the three boards meets once a month.

Stokes noted that he studies reports in thick binders for each of the three boards so he can be well-informed as directors make major decisions affecting the three districts.

In his 20 years on the Woodbridge Irrigation District board, Stokes said stipends haven't increased at all, nor have any of the five directors asked for an increase in pay.

When combining the $75 stipend with the mileage reimbursement, Stokes gets $81.25 per month. Another director, west Lodi dairyman Hank Van Exel, receives $78. The stipends and mileage reimbursement cost the district less than $4,000 annually, WID Manager Andy Christensen said.

"It's fairly common that they get some kind of stipend," said Neil McCormick, another Special Districts Association spokesman.

Many tend to be in the $100-per-meeting range for up to four meetings a month, McCormick said.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

More about

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don't pretend you're someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don't insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.

Welcome to the discussion.


Popular Stories


Should graduations return to the Grape Bowl?

Lodi Unified leaders are moving Lodi and Tokay high school graduations from the Grape Bowl to the Spanos Center at UOP in Stockton. They cite limited seating, costs and unpredictable weather at the Grape Bowl. But others say graduations at the Grape Bowl are an important Lodi tradition, and one reason many supported renovating the stadium. What do you think?

Total Votes: 215


Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists