Special District Leadership Foundation Names ‘District of Distinction’
This is the highest governance and best practices accreditation a special district can receive
The San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District (SBVWCD) has received "District of Distinction" accreditation from the Special District Leadership Foundation for its sound fiscal management policies and practices in district operations.
The accreditation is the latest in a series of efforts being taken by the SBVWCD and its board of directors to become more transparent and accountable to the communities it serves. San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District is one of just two water districts in all of San Bernardino County to have qualified for the honor.
“This is the highest governance and best practices accreditation a special district can receive,” said SBVWCD General Manager Daniel Cozad. “Fewer than 25 of the 2,300 special districts in California have received this distinction and we are very proud to have earned it.”
Rancho Cucamonga Water District is the only other water district in all of San Bernardino County to qualify for the distinction, according to the SDLF organization website.
The recognition is awarded based on an independent three-year audit review conducted by district controllers and certified general managers from throughout the state.
Prudent fiscal practices, transparency requirements and board training in public governance, ethics and harassment prevention training are all conditions of receiving the accreditation, said Neil McCormick, SDLF Administrator. Websites must include election procedures and deadlines, board meeting schedules and agendas, a current district budget, the most recent financial audit and compensation of board members and staff or a link to the State Controller’s website with the data.
The San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District has, since 2011, taken on a number of organizational changes to enhance transparency, accountability and efficiency in all of its operations in order to develop a more efficient, responsive and financially sound agency, Cozad said.
In 2012, the SBVWCD reduced the size of its board of directors from seven members to five and began working with regional partners and supporting projects to leverage common needs and shared facilities. It also reorganized and updated its website to make important documents easier to find. A transparency and accountability page was added, implementing special district best practices.
“In the wake of these efficiency changes, we felt transparency and doing the public’s business in the most accessible way was a high priority for the district,” said Board President Richard Corneille. “We are very pleased to be getting this recognition. It shows that we are accomplishing what we set out a few years ago in all earnestness to do.”