For Immediate Release                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Contact: Naseem Farooqi

October 6, 2020                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Public Affairs Manager



Board of Directors Collaborate on Measures to Strengthen and Support Staff


RIALTO, CA (October 6, 2020) –

To further strengthen and support the workforce at the West Valley Water District (WVWD), the board of directors approved a number of agreements that will appoint a new assistant general manager (AGM), elevate the chief financial officer (CFO) and ratify a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the International Union of Operating Engineers (IOUE) Local 12, which is a trade union that primarily represents operating engineers, who work as heavy equipment operators, mechanics and surveyors in the construction, industrial and service industries.


Board President Channing Hawkins stated, “For almost a year, we’ve worked to reform our water district, from our operations to our internal controls. Now, it is time to ensure stability for our employees for years to come. Our board has collaborated and worked through our differences to provide them with an agreement that allows them to focus on meeting the needs of our ratepayers and community.”


Director Dr. Michael Taylor, Chair of the Human Resources Committee, added, “We’ve made tremendous progress in bringing substantive changes to West Valley Water District and these agreements will continue moving us in the right direction. An effective organization requires experienced leadership and a well-trained workforce, which is what we’re building. I’m looking forward to seeing the results of these staffing moves as we build WVWD into a shining example of what a water agency should be.”


The sweeping changes implemented by the WVWD Board of Directors will impact more than 70 percent of the agency’s personnel. The most prominent change involves the return of an AGM, Logan Olds, who maintains extensive industry experience. Olds recently served as general manager of the Victor Valley Water Reclamation Authority (VVWRA) in Victorville, California, which serves a 279 square mile area and treats about 10.7 million gallons of wastewater every day. Prior to serving as an AGM with WVWD, Olds worked at the VVWRA for 13 years where turned around a facility facing more than 100 water quality violations. According to the California Water Environmental Association, under his leadership, VVWRA resolved those early water quality problems, improved and expanded infrastructure, navigated several disasters, supervised the construction of recycling facilities and initiated an award-winning green energy program.


Assistant General Manager Logan Olds stated, “I see the tremendous progress made and I’m glad to be back. I’m looking forward to immediately assisting our board of directors, management and staff in strengthening our infrastructure and operations in a transparent manner. Our ratepayers are relying on us and we will continue making immediate improvements to ensure we provide them with the water district they deserve.”


Under his new appointed position with WVWD, Olds will oversee the operations and engineering divisions of the water district, which includes the Oliver P. Roemer Water Filtration Facility Expansion Project. Mr. Olds holds a BS in Applied Ecology and MS degree in Water/Wastewater Utilization, Natural Resources Plan & Interpretation from Humboldt State University, and a Special District Administrator Certificate from the California Special Districts Institute. He holds various certifications, including a Grade V Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator, Grade IV Collections Systems Operator, Grade III Water Treatment Plant Operator, Grade II Water Distribution Operator, Grade I Laboratory Analyst and a Commercial Driver’s License.


The surge of staffing support also involves an increased role for CFO Shamindra “Rickey” Manbahal, who has already overseen major WVWD efforts to dramatically increase financial accountability, select a certified public accountant to improve transparency and implement cost saving measures due to a decline revenues as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Manbahal maintains extensive experience in finance and has served in critical financial roles for several governmental agencies including internal auditor for the County of Los Angeles. In this elevated role, Manbahal will manage a number of departments, including Finance, Accounting, Customer Service, Procurement, General Services, IT, GIS and Human Resources.


In addition to these changes, the board of directors appointed Peggy Asche as board secretary. Ms. Asche started within the customer service department in December 1981 and has since received promotions to the billing, engineering, operations and administrative departments. Ms. Asche also served as board secretary from 2004-2015. The board of directors also approved a 3-year labor agreement with the IUOE Local 12.  The Union will represent about 50 non-management employees. Under the agreement, employees will be represented by a union representative in personnel-related matters.


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The West Valley Water District has proudly served the communities of Bloomington, Colton, Fontana, Rialto, San Bernardino, and Jurupa Valley since 1952. Through name changes and consolidation, the mission has always remained the same: to provide customers with safe, high quality, and reliable water service at a reasonable rate and in a sustainable manner. The District provides water for 83,000 customers and is overseen by a five-member, publicly-elected Board of Directors.