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MMWD Names New General Manager

More than six months after Paul Helliker resigned as general manager, the Marin Municipal Water District Board members have tapped a Sonoma County water official to fill Helliker's shoes.

 

Marin Municipal Water District officials have tapped a Sonoma water district head to serve as the district’s new general manager.

Krishna Kumar, currently the general manager of the Valley of the Moon Water District in Sonoma County, will begin as MMWD’s new general manager in mid-December, according to MMWD officials.

MMWD board president and Mill Valley resident Cynthia Koehler said the district’s board unanimously backed hiring Kumar.  

 “Krishna is an excellent fit for MMWD at this important time in our history. We are delighted to have him join MMWD as our general manager,” Koehler said in a release.

In a release, Kumar said he hopes to build on MMWD’s history – it’s the oldest municipal water district in the state – and that’s he’s committed to maintaining MMWD’s reputation for providing “high-quality drinking water.”

Kumar's appointment will be formalized at the Oct. 17 MMWD board meeting. He will make $212,000 annually.

MMWD Facilities and Watershed Manager Tom Cronin was the district’s acting general manager since Paul Helliker resigned as general manager in March.

Helliker will receive $195,851 in salary and consulting fees by the end of the year, an amount greater than his annual salary of $189,000. Helliker is being kept on through December 12, 2012, as a consultant, easing the transition to a new general manager. 

Helliker was due $79,645 in vacation and benefits payment on June 11, though he planned to be on vacation from March to June, “drawing down his vacation leave and holiday pay,” according to the agreement reached between parties. Helliker also will receive $48,639 severance, the equivalent of three months of Helliker’s salary of $16,213 per month, on Dec. 18. From June 12 to Dec. 12, Helliker will be paid as a consultant at a rate of $19,131 per month, for a total of $114,786. 

Kumar has been the general manager of Valley of the Moon Water District in El Verano since 2004. Previously, he was a division manager for several years in finance at the Sonoma County Water Agency. He worked for Sonoma County prior to joining SCWA.

Kumar earned a master of business administration degree in finance from the University of Cochin in Cochin, India. He earned his bachelor’s degree in zoology from Calicut University in Palakkad, India. Before immigrating to the United States in 1992, Kumar served as a senior manager at the Reserve Bank of India.

Earlier this year, the district raised water rates for the sixth consecutive year.

Officials said the increase was needed due to declining revenue -- a result of the success of its conservation efforts -- as well as rising costs on items like electricity and health insurance for its current and retired employees.

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