Meeting Date:

June 16, 2008





Darby Fuerst,




General Manager

Line Item No.:




Prepared by:

Stephanie Pintar

Cost Estimate:



General Counsel Approval:  N/A

Committee Recommendation:  The Public Outreach Committee completed revision of the draft Public Outreach Plan on May 27, 2008, and recommended approval. 

CEQA Compliance:  N/A


SUMMARY:  The revised draft Public Outreach Plan is attached as Exhibit 20-A.  This plan has been revised and recommended for approval by the 2008 Public Outreach Committee.  Components of the Plan include:  identification of key messages, key partners, tools and methods for communicating with the public and others.  The plan also includes specific contact information as attachments.  Providing contact information as attachments to the plan will allow periodic additions and deletions without causing the entire document to be reprinted. 


Implementation of the plan for Fiscal Year 2008-2009 (FY 08-09) includes potential costs of $148,100, including $25,000 for upgrading the District’s website to a more user-friendly format.  On May 27, 2008, the Public Outreach Committee unanimously voted to add $64,500 to the proposed FY 2008-09 budget.  The Board will consider this addition of public outreach funding as part of its budget consideration at the June 16, 2008 meeting.  If approved as proposed, the following outreach budget would include:


  1. Website upgrades:  $25,000
  2. Participation at a minimum of ten events annually at a material cost of approximately $200 per event:  $2,000
  3. Sponsorship of water resource and conservation-related events, with an initial consideration of approximately 5 events at $500/event:  $2,500
  4. Two direct mailings, in addition to the annual report:  $50,000 (approximately $25,000 each)
  5. Overtime costs for Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) employees to work evenings/weekends at outreach events:  Approximately $10,000
  6. Annual Report:  $18,000
  7. Annual Open House:  $600
  8. Professional-quality trade show booth and presentation displays:  $10,000
  9. Public Outreach assistance through MRWPCA or consultant (to be considered at a future Board meeting):  $30,000


RECOMMENDATION:  The Board should approve the draft Public Outreach Plan.  Budget proposals to increase outreach efforts are proposed as amendments to the FY 2008-09 budget.  If supported by the Board, these costs should be added to the FY 08-09 budget during consideration of that item.  Board recommendations of additional contacts should be forwarded to Water Demand Manager, Stephanie Pintar, for inclusion in the appropriate attachment.


BACKGROUND:  In its Strategic Plan adopted on October 16, 2006, the Board initially created its three-year goal of “Establishing respectful and effective relationships with California American Water, the eight land use jurisdictions and the Seaside Basin Watermaster.”  In its May 21, 2007 update of the Strategic Plan, the Board added outreach to the general public to the goal.  The Board also created an objective for developing a “Public Outreach Plan” in order to focus and prioritize resources directed toward increasing District communication with members of the community regarding its regulation changes and other key activities. 


At its October 3, 2007 meeting, the 2007 Public Outreach Committee considered a staff-proposed approach for implementing the strategic objective of developing an Outreach Plan based on the 2005 model public communication handbook, Open and Accessible: A Public Water Agency Guide to Communication and Transparency, published by the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA).  Staff drafted a Plan that reflected the October 3, 2007 Committee consensus on elements that should be included.  The Committee also identified a potential desire to add an additional element related to upgrading the District’s website. 


Completion of the Public Outreach Plan was brought to the forefront as part of the Board’s February 13, 2008 Strategic Plan when it was included as an objective under the 3-year goal to “Establish respectful and effective relationships among the District, CAW, public, jurisdictions and the Watermaster.”   On February 26, 2008, the 2008 Public Outreach Committee began reviewing and revising the former draft plan to expand the quantity and quality of public outreach by the District.  The final revisions were reviewed and approved unanimously by the committee on May 27, 2008.


IMPACT TO STAFF/RESOURCES: In addition to time/cost associated with staff involvement related to preparation and participation at public outreach events, several one time costs were identified.  One-time costs and efforts include resources for revising the District website and for creating a District display booth.  Additional resources will be needed to prepare and implement production of the annual report and other direct mailings and to maintain ongoing relationships with key contacts.  Finally, staff has entered into discussions with MRWPCA about sharing outreach efforts.  Information on a possible MRWPCA outreach partnership will be presented to the Board at a future meeting.



20-A    Draft MPWMD Public Outreach Plan