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Darlene Thiel

General Manager Darlene Thiel puts up with jokes from the gallery as Mark Pecotich, the CSD board president, reads a resolution in her honor.

After some fumbling and joking about the resolution honoring departing General Manager Darlene Thiel at last week’s Community Services District meeting, President Mark Pecotich said, “Do you want to know why it was hard? Because we’re not really ready to let go.”

Thiel leaves the CSD next week after nine years. She left the CSD briefly, in 2014, but was hired back when the previous general manager resigned after four months in the job. Thiel is moving to Florida, where she has family and a new job.

“I’m sad to see you depart, but I can understand why. Taxes are a lot better in Florida,” said Director Jerry Pasek. “The weather’s lousy. I hope you enjoy your new job, for however long you want to work there.”

“I’ve enjoyed my tenure here,” she told the board. “And like I said, I’m going kind of far away, so it’s going to be difficult to have me come back again." She closed the meeting with, "Thank you very much. I appreciate all the support you guys have given me.”

Until the new general manager is hired, the job will be handled by Ed Crouse, who served as general manager for 18 years. He filled the interim role in 2014 too, the last time the CSD was between general managers.

Security report rescheduled

After the meeting, the CSD canceled its plans for a June 28 meeting with the community on a report on the future of Security. The report was prepared by an outside firm, Burns & McDonnell of Kansas City, Missouri, following interviews with the CSD and a public session in February. A new date for the public session has not been set.

The open Security and GM jobs

General Manager Darlene Thiel said it’s hoped the open position of Security chief will be posted no later than mid-July, following the Security report that’s pending. She said the resumes can be reviewed by Ed Crouse, acting general manager, and the incoming general manager. The job could be filled by late August or early September, Thiel said. 

As for her own vacant position, Gillum said the application period has closed, and the company assisting with the hire received at least 20 applications. She projected the CSD’s ad-hoc hiring committee can do interviews in the several days after the July 4 holiday, and the board can interview candidates the week of July 17. 

Thiel said the goal is to announce the new general manager July 24. 

In other business...

  • By a unanimous vote, with Directors Les Clark and John Merchant absent, the board adopted a 2017-18 budget unchanged from the document reviewed in previous months. The average residential bill will increase 1.32 percent in July, or $2.22 a month.
  • General Manager Darlene Thiel delivered an analysis of the water treatment plant cost overrun and reimbursement. She said the project, with an estimated cost of $12.3 million, actually came in at $13.2 million, or $931,966 more than planned. Of that amount, she said, the district commissioned $229,000 in work that should be paid by the CSD. After other adjustments, the overrun amount is $634,726, which will be split between the CSD and the North developers, she said.
  • The board unanimously approved asphalt sealing and striping of the CSD parking lot at a cost of $7,542.50.
  • The board unanimously approved buying a system to monitor the water treatment quality and plant operations at a cost of  $18,940.
  • The board unanimously approved spending $58,000 for an electronic document management system.
  • The board unanimously approved hiring Larry Bain, CPA, to perform the district’s annual audit at a cost of $18,500.

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