The Ross Valley Sanitary District is taking applications for an interim general manager, who will lead the district for three to nine months while the district’s board of directors search for a permanent replacement.
The district’s last general manager, Brett Richards, resigned in July after the Marin Independent Journal raised questions about how he spent a $350,000 housing loan he received from the district.
According to the IJ, many had questioned Richards’ qualifications to run the 112-year-old sewer agency that has a $31.5 million annual budget.
While Richards reportedly had experience in sanitary management, he lacked formal education in engineering, according to the IJ, and was working on a master’s degree in “peacemaking and conflict resolution” when he was hired by the sanitary district in November 2008 and began earning $163,000 a year.
Court records show Richards and his wife had filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in 1992, according to the IJ.
Sanitary district officials have posted the interim general manager position on three job boards (BCWaterJobs.com, SpecialDistrictCareers.com, and the California Water Environment Association’s online jobs bulletin), according to a district press release.
“Among the requirements for the interim position are staff and budget supervision, system maintenance, capital improvement planning, as well as Board and public relations. The Board hopes to further its effort to improve the District by seeking an individual who can also provide an assessment of the District’s operations compared to industry best practices,” the release said.
At an Aug. 22 board meeting, the district’s standing committee for the general manager search (which is comprised of director Pamela Meigs and director Mary Sylla) recommended that the board review and upgrade the job description for the permanent general manager position.
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