Lake Forest, CA — The El Toro Water District received the “District of Distinction” accreditation by the Special District Leadership Foundation (SDLF) for its sound fiscal management policies and practices in district operations. This is the sixth time El Toro Water District has received this biannual accreditation. The District received the District of Distinction Award in 2007, 2009, 2012, 2014 and 2016. Out of 3,400 special districts in California, ETWD was the first independent water special district to receive this important accreditation.
SDLF conducts an independent audit review of the last three years of the district’s operations to ensure prudent fiscal practices. In addition, the district’s board of directors and executive staff must also show proof of educational training in public governance, as well as compliance with ethics and harassment prevention training. The SDLF committee members who review the audits are professionals from the special district community, including district finance controllers, chief financial officers, directors of finance and certified general managers.
According to Robert R. Hill, General Manager for El Toro Water District, “This District of Distinction award and accreditation is significant to our El Toro Water District family. From our frontline staff, to our engineering and planning team members, to our accounting folks, to our board members and management team, we work hard, every day to lead by example. We take the duty of managing our most valuable resource (water), seriously. We’re committed to striving for excellence and to good stewardship. Our customers, elected officials and our community have been encouraging and appreciative of how we serve them.
Furthermore, in order to receive the recognition, the district’s website must include posting of transparency requirements, including: election procedure and deadlines, posted board meeting schedule and agendas, current district budget, most recent financial audit, and a list of compensation of board members and staff or a link to the State Controller’s webpage with the data.
El Toro Water District
The mission of El Toro Water District is to provide its customers a safe, adequate and reliable supply of water and wastewater service in an environmentally and economically responsible way.
The El Toro Water District was formed in 1960 to cost effectively and reliably finance, construct, operate and maintain a water and wastewater system. The district’s service area covers about 5,430 acres including all of the city of Laguna Woods, and portions of the cities of Laguna Hills, Mission Viejo, Lake Forest and Aliso Viejo serving a total population of 49,000. The district is governed by a publicly elected five-member Board of Directors.
Special District Leadership Foundation (SDLF)
The Special District Leadership Foundation is a collaborative effort of eight special district organizations dedicated to excellence in local government. The Foundation was formed to provide educational opportunities to special district officials and employees to enhance service to the public provided by special districts in California.
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 formation and funding is approved by voters in order to meet specific needs through focused service. They can be specially molded to serve large regions or small neighborhoods depending on the need.