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IID board approves travel expense policy

May 09, 2001|By KELLY GRANT, Staff Writer

The Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors approved a travel expense policy for itself during Tuesday's regular meeting.

The policy, drafted by IID board President Andy Horne, is designed to comply with the statutory requirements of the California Water Code.

The policy requires, among other things, the board establish a budget for directors' travel expenses "taking into account requirements for travel by individual board members."

Originally, the policy called for each director to estimate his or her own travel budget.

IID's beleaguered computer system, SAP, was under scrutiny again, though this time for the enhancements made to it by information technology staff.

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Gabe Marcial, director of the district's information technology department, presented the board with 10 enhancements to the water order entry functions of SAP.

Most of the enhancements aim to save SAP users time by making the water order entry steps more streamlined.

Eight enhancements are completed, one is still in the testing phase and another is a new request on which the department will be working.

Directors split over the approval of a contract that would pay a soon-to-be former IID employee more than what he makes now to serve as an IID consultant employed by another business.

John Eckhardt, manager of resources in IID's planning and management department, leaves IID's employ Friday, after which he'll work for CH2MHill. The board was asked Tuesday to approve a contract with CH2MHill to continue utilizing Eckhardt's services as a consultant.

With salary and benefits, Eckhardt makes $112 per hour. As a CH2MHill consultant to IID, the district would pay $158 per hour.

Horne and Director Stella Mendoza both voted against approving the contract. Directors Bruce Kuhn and Rudy Maldonado voted for approval. Director Lloyd Allen was away on IID business and did not attend Tuesday's meeting.

General Manager Jesse Silva told the board Eckhardt wouldn't receive 100 percent of what the IID would pay for his services; a cut would go to CH2MHill.

Horne said the arrangement is not beneficial to IID, and a second vote produced the same 2-2 result.

Staff Writer Kelly Grant can be reached at 337-3441.

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