McMillan sworn in as Helix’s division 1 director

McMillan sworn in as Helix’s division 1 director

Dan McMillan is officially sworn in as Helix’s division 1 director by board secretary, Sandy Janzen.

Helix Water District’s newly appointed director, Dan McMillan, was officially sworn in before his first board meeting Wednesday evening.

Helix’s board appointed McMillan by a unanimous vote Monday evening after interviewing seven candidates for the division 1 board seat left vacant by Luis Tejeda, who was elected in November but resigned December 30th over a potential conflict of interest. McMillan was the only one of the candidates interviewed who ran for the division 1 seat in November’s election, finishing second to Tejeda.

McMillan represents Helix’s division 1 customers, most of whom live north of the I-8 freeway in El Cajon. The division extends from Fletcher Hills eastward to Bostonia. The appointment is for two years and the seat will be up for election in November 2018.

McMillan is a Marine Corps veteran and brings extensive experience in local government and water to the Helix board, including 12 years on the board of Padre Dam Municipal Water District and six years as Padre Dam’s representative on the board of the San Diego County Water Authority.

Dan’s experience and perspective will be helpful. I am looking forward to working together.

Carlos Lugo

General Manager, Helix Water District

Helix seeking applications for vacant board seat

Helix seeking applications for vacant board seat

Helix Water District’s board of directors voted unanimously at their January 11, 2017 meeting to consider candidates for appointment to the Division 1 board seat left vacant by the resignation of Luis Tejeda.

The candidate appointed by the Board will represent Helix’s Division 1 customers, who live north of the I‐8 freeway in El Cajon, from Fletcher Hills to Bostonia (see map). The appointment is through November 2018, when the seat is up for election.

To be eligible, candidates must reside in Division 1 (see map), be registered to vote in San Diego County, and have experience and time to commit to the board.

Interested candidates should contact Sandra Janzen, Helix board secretary, at 619-667-6232 or, for an application. Applications will be available on or after January 19, 2017.

Completed applications are due by 5:00pm on January 26, 2017, and the board will interview selected candidates during a public meeting at 6:00pm on January 30, 2017.

Helix Water District is a special district—a not-for-profit, local government agency — formed to provide water for the cities of La Mesa, El Cajon and Lemon Grove, the community of Spring Valley and areas within the City of Santee, Lakeside and San Diego County. We serve over 270,000 people through over 56,000 metered accounts.

Notice of Vacancy

Helix Fact Sheet

Newly elected Helix board member resigns

Newly elected Helix board member resigns

Newly elected Helix Water District Director Luis Tejeda resigned from the board effective December 30, 2016, saying new business opportunities could present a conflict of interest in his role as a board member.

Tejeda announced his resignation in an email to Board President Joel Scalzitti, explaining that he
resigned to protect the district and ratepayers and made his decision as quickly as possible to ensure

Board members will address Tejeda’s resignation and the next steps in filling the vacancy at their next
regular meeting on Wednesday, January 4th at 2:00pm.

Tejeda retired in 2016 after a 28‐year career at Helix and was elected to the board in November. He
replaced incumbent John Linden to represent Helix’s Division 1 customers, who live north of the I‐8
freeway in El Cajon, including the Fletcher Hills and Bostonia neighborhoods.

Pay your water bill anytime, anywhere

Pay your water bill anytime, anywhere

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Helix welcomes new board members

Helix welcomes new board members

This week, newly-elected directors Mark Gracyk and Luis Tejeda assumed their seats behind the dais for Wednesday’s regular Helix Water District board meeting.

Gracyk takes the seat formerly held by Chuck Muse to represent customers residing in Helix’s Division 3 election, which includes the city of Lemon Grove, the Spring Valley community and areas of La Mesa.

Gracyk brings to Helix’s board over 20 years of experience in the water industry. He is an Army Corps of Engineers veteran and manages the reclaimed water systems on Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. He is a resident of Lemon Grove and served eight years as chairman of the Lemon Grove School Board’s Proposition W Oversight Committee.

Tejeda replaces incumbent John Linden to represent Helix’s Division 1 customers, who live north of the I-8 freeway in El Cajon, including the communities of Fletcher Hills and Bostonia.

Photo:Newly-elected director, Mark Gracyk, and his wife, Grace.

Photo: Newly-elected director, Luis Tejeda, shaking hands with Helix general manager, Carlos Lugo.

Tejeda retired from Helix in 2015 and brings to the board 28 years of experience in the district’s operations and engineering departments. He served as president of the city of El Cajon’s parks and recreation committee and is also president of the board of the Hotspurs USA competitive soccer program, which fields soccer teams by age group and provides coaching, clinics and camps in East County.

At Wednesday’s meeting, the new board voted unanimously to appoint director Joel Scalzitti as board president, and director Kathleen Coates Hedberg as the board’s vice president. Scalzitti ran unopposed in the November 8th election.

Before stepping down, outgoing board president DeAna Verbeke presented former directors Muse and Linden with board resolutions recognizing their public service.

Muse was elected to Helix’s board in 2004 and, in 11 years of service, represented Helix on the Association of California Water Agencies Joint Powers Insurance and its executive, risk management and employee benefits committees, as vice chair of Council of Water Utilities, and on the San Diego River Conservancy, National Water Resources Association, La Mesa Chamber of Commerce, San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce and San Diego Chapter of the WateReuse Association.

Linden was elected the board in 2000 and represented Helix on the San Diego County Water Authority board of directors and its water planning, engineering, Water Conservation Garden and Small Contractor Outreach and Opportunity Program committees, was a member of the Helix’s audit committee and Lake Jennings committee, and represented the district on the La Mesa and East County chambers of commerce and the San Diego Chapter of the WateReuse Association.

Helix accepts transparency award

Helix accepts transparency award

Helix Water District accepted a District Transparency Certificate of Excellence from the San Diego Chapter of the California Special Districts Association at a regional awards dinner last night in Kearny Mesa. Helix was recognized for its “outstanding efforts” to promote transparency and good governance.

Helix board president DeAna Verbeke, Vice President Chuck Muse, and Director Joel Scalzitti accepted the certificate from the CSDA’s Special District Leadership Foundation, an independent, non-profit organization formed to promote good governance and best practices among California’s special districts through certification, accreditation and other recognition programs.

“This award is a testament to Helix Water District’s commitment to open government,” said Chis Palmer, Public Affairs Field Coordinator for CSDA. “The entire district staff is to be commended for their contributions that empower the public with information and facilitate engagement and oversight.”

To be eligible for the award, a special district must demonstrate completion of eight essential governance transparency requirements, including conducting ethics training for all board members, properly conducting open and public meetings and filing financial transactions and compensation reports to the state controller in a timely manner.

Helix also fulfilled fifteen website requirements, including providing readily available information to the public, such as board agendas, past minutes, current district budget and the most recent financial audit.

The district also must demonstrate outreach that engages the public in its governance, through a regular district newsletter and completion of a salary comparison for district staff positions.

Special districts are independent public agencies that deliver core local services to communities, such as water, fire protection, parks and recreation, healthcare, sanitation, mosquito abatement, ports, libraries, public cemeteries and more.  Districts are established by voters and their funding is approved by voters to meet specific needs through focused service.  They can be specially molded to serve large regions or small neighborhoods.

Helix is a special district formed to provide water for the cities of La Mesa, El Cajon and Lemon Grove, the community of Spring Valley and areas within Santee, Lakeside and San Diego County.  Helix serves 271,000 people through more than 56,000 metered accounts.

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