After three months of searching, the McCloud Community Services District Board of Directors has chosen its new general manager.

Richard Dinges has accepted the district’s top job, announced MSCD Board President Al Schoenstein at a meeting on Monday, March 28.

Dinges’ resume includes more than two decades of civil engineering experience. He was previously employed as a project manager with Lescure Engineers, Inc., in Santa Rosa. According to Lescure’s webpage, he focused on water and wastewater systems for municipalities, wineries and food processing facilities.

Prior to that, he worked as a project manager for Summit Engineering, Inc., in Santa Rosa, where he worked on water and wastewater systems for public works and winery projects.

Before joining Summit Engineering, he served for 11 years as general manager for the Stinson Beach County Water District in Stinson Beach, Cali. He also served as the general manager for the Cabazon County Water District in Riverside, Calif., and as Water Operations Inspector for Mammoth County Water District in Mammoth Lakes, Calif.

According to Dinges’ online biography, his experience includes water distribution systems, storm drains, street improvements, water booster pump stations, water treatment plant design and water tank storage.
He’s also worked on sewer collection system planning, pump stations and on-site community septic systems.

Early in his career, Dinges also designed street improvement plans, water and sewer plans, drainage plans and grading plans for civil engineering firms. He graduated from California Polytechnic State University in Pomona, Calif., with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering. Schoenstein said he is also a veteran who served in the Air Force and Army.

Dinges was the best fit for the district's needs of the 32 candidates, directors say.

“[Dinges] was an inspector of water and sewer systems; he designed water and wastewater systems, trained the staff on installation and has an engineering background, so he can work with our engineers … he’s also had extensive experience with grants,” Schoenstein said.

The board voted during a special meeting on Friday, March 25, to offer the job to Dinges at an annual salary of $75,000.

But it hit a speedbump.

A concerned citizen at the March 28 meeting pointed out to the board that it voted on the general manger’s compensation without placing the item on the agenda.

On the March 25 agenda, there were three closed session items: “evaluate applicants’ reference checks for the position of General Manager,” “conference with labor negotiator regarding the unrepresented employee position: General Manager,” and “take personnel action.” The agenda also prescribed reconvening the open session meeting to announce any action taken by the board.

There was no mention on the March 25 agenda of discussing or voting on the general manager’s compensation – in open or closed session.

The board agreed to “cure and correct” the problem by placing the issue of the general manager’s compensation on the agenda for a future meeting, where directors will discuss and vote upon the general manager's salary. The date of the meeting hadn’t been set as of late Monday.

Schoenstein said Dinges will be in town to meet his new staff on Friday, April 1.