Bethel Island Municipal Improvement District 83,500-$99,000 DOQ Plus Benefits
Bethel Island Municipal Improvement District (BIMID) is seeking a new District Manager. BIMID provides critical operation, maintenance, and capital improvements to Bethel Island’s 11.5 mile levee system and 19+ mile drainage, pumping and flood control system, contracted services to the additional 3+ mile levee, peninsula rock slope, drainage, seepage and pumping systems of the new 495-home lagoon/waterfront development of Delta Coves, and community park maintenance.
The Setting and the Community
A renowned eclectic “legacy community” in the California Bay Delta, 3.500-acre Bethel Island is one of the Delta’s 8 western “sentinel islands” between the salt and fresh water that protect the quality of this water source for much of California. 2,100+ permanent population, 5,000+ seasonal population. Over 1,500 residences (largely waterfront) occupied full time, or part time as recreational second homes. Also the site of the “last of its kind” Delta Coves waterfront subdivision just now getting underway. Yet most of its interior is open pasture land, creating a unique urban, rural and wildlife interface.
The District, the Challenges, and the Opportunities; Setbacks, Breakthroughs, a Whole New Outlook
Originally established in 1915 as Reclamation District 1619, BIMID was created in 1960 by special State legislation (the “BIMID Act”). Historically funded by ad valorem Property Taxes (particularly sensitive by economic downturns), well into the 1980’s such Districts were “pretty much on their own” with no clear standards or enforcement, and insufficient funding. Yet “by the seat of its pants,” BIMID was somehow during this period able to keep any Bethel Island levees from breaching.
However, following severe storms in 1986, and flooding and levee failures elsewhere in the Delta, the State Department of Water Resources recognized the need for greater support for levee projects, and in 1988 DWR’s Delta Levees Program came into being, enabling BIMID to address long identified levee deficiencies through a multi-phased program extending over several DWR Special Projects Work Agreements through the 1990’s and 2000’s.
These included DWR funding and FEMA reimbursements for emergency levee repair of damage from a severe storm event in 1996. Thereafter FEMA required that levees comply with its Hazardous Mitigation Plan (HMP) minimum standard for disaster relief eligibility. Since over half of breaches occur from structural failure, in 2006 BIMID undertook an electromagnetic anomaly survey of the internal structural integrity, and in 2007 an Engineering Geotechnical Investigation, of its entire levee system. Meanwhile severe storms in January, 2006, again made further substantial levee repairs necessary just to keep up. Through the 1990’s to 2007 (the start of the recent recession), DWR Work Agreements for such projects totaled over $4 million, with the required local share consistently a full 25%, or over $1 million total out of pocket expenditure, a major stretch for BIMID financially. However, as a fundamental planning tool, DWR in 2012 fully funded BIMID’s current 5-Year Plan.
However, during the “great recession,” BIMID’s Property tax revenues declined by over 1/3 from $543,371 in FY 2008-09 to $358,642 in FY 2012-13, necessitating operational and staffing reductions, and reducing its ability to (1) fully benefit from DWR’s “Subventions Program” for up to 75% reimbursement of annual levee maintenance, or (2) meet DWR “Special Projects” grant funding local share requirements. Yet in 2012 a very favorable 5% local share enabled BIMID to undertake a DWR funded high priority HMP Project to bring all deficient levee sites, mostly behind local residences, into compliance. But for any future significant major levee improvement projects, levee maintenance enhancements, or organizational staffing upgrades, BIMID needed a substantial new long term, ongoing, more stable revenue source, so in 2014-15 BIMID established a Proposition 218 Assessment District, increasing its annual assured funding base by over $220,000.
The new Assessment District enabled BIMID in 2015 to proceed with its $5.1 million Horseshoe Bend Levee Improvement Project, only one of four projects selected by DWR out of 26 applicants (and for an outstanding 6% local share), and in 2016 to apply – and to just recently be approved – for a new DWR grant for a $7.6 million Northwest Levee Improvement/Southwest Levee Seepage Reduction Project to completely refortify (along with the Horseshoe Bend Project) the entire northerly section of BIMID’s levee system most directly impacted by the confluence of the San Joaquin and Sacramento Rivers.
This is all being further enhanced by the Delta Coves contract and $574,000 Community Facilities District Annual Budget, further increasing the depth and breadth of BIMID’s team of 10 technical field and administrative staff, and consultant team. and upgrading its equipment fleet. Property Tax revenues are also recovering, and as Delta Coves homes are built and sold in coming years, BIMID’s Property Tax base will further broaden. The State Delta Stewardship Council’s Delta Levee Investment Strategy also recently recognized Bethel Island as among the “Very Highest Priority” Delta Islands for future State funding.
This District Manager position therefore represents a unique professional opportunity to help lead BIMID and Bethel Island community through this dramatic transformation period.
The Ideal Candidate; Personal Attributes, Education, Professional Experience
Will be technologically savvy, balanced with broad background experience in local government and/or special district management, finance, and grantsmanship, notably in smaller local agencies. Outstanding oral and written communications, inclusive “hands on” collaborative management style, proven community and interagency relations, conflict management/mediation skills, personal integrity a must. Ability to work effectively with State, Federal, County and other regulatory compliance and funding agencies, and various Committees and Commissions, upon which the realization of BIMID’s mission largely depends. Specific flood control, reclamation district or related experience, and emergency management scenarios/training helpful. Direct familiarity with DWR, State Fish and Wildlife, FEMA, and USAOCE desirable. Any combination of education, training, experience which would provide the required knowledge, skills and abilities, such as a Bachelor’s Degree in public or business administration, engineering, or related field, (MPA or MBA a plus), and/or 5 years management experience in a municipal, special district, reclamation district, or other public agency.
The Selection Process
Application deadline: 5:00 P.M. May 12, 2017. Please submit cover letter and resume to Bethel Island Municipal Improvement District, P.O. Box 244, Bethel Island, CA 94511, Attention: Jeff Butzlaff, or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your application materials must reflect the specific nature, size and scope of your responsibilities, staff oversight, organizational complexity and budget, key challenges and accomplishments, and specific years and months (with beginning and ending dates) for each position held. The most qualified candidates will be invited to participate further in the selection process, up to and including a formal interview of finalists by the BIMID Board of Directors. For further information call (925) 684-2210 between 9:00 A.M. and 3:30 P.M. Mon.-Fri. Formal brochure available.