No new leader announced for Kern County Water Agency

February 6, 2020
by Lois Henry
Lois Henry

Past Agency Managers

Dallace Ogilvie, KCWA general manager Feb. 1962 – Feb. 1965

William C. Bryant, KCWA general manager Aug. 1965 – March 1973


Stuart Pyle, KCWA general manager July 1973 – June 1990


Tom Clark, KCWA general manager June 1990 – Jan. 2005


Jim Beck, KCWA general manager Jan. 2005 – March 2016


Curtis Creel, KCWA General Manager, 2016- Dec. 2019

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No action was reported following an hour-long closed session during a special meeting called to discuss the general manager position at the Kern County Water Agency.

That means the vacant general manager position will remain vacant a while longer.

The Agency has been without a general manager since Curtis Creel retired Dec. 7, 2019.

This is a key position in California water as the Agency is the 2nd largest contractor on the State Water Project. That also makes general manager a difficult position, as that person must stay involved in high-level state issues as well as more granular local issues.

The Agency  holds the State Water Project contract on behalf of 13 mostly agricultural water districts, called “member units.” And those districts each have their own unique problems and demands.

Its $365 million annual budget comes from member unit payments as well as property taxes.

So, while the agency works very closely with its ag district members, it is very much a public agency, whose directors are publicly elected.

Some may feel the headaches of the job may be outweighed by the perks, including the generous salary and benefit package.

In 2018, Creel earned $292,530 in pay and $166,690 in benefits for a total package of $459,220, according to Transparent California.

You can learn more about the job on the agency’s employment page.

SJV Water is an independent, nonprofit news site dedicated to covering water in the San Joaquin Valley. Get inside access to SJV Water by becoming a member.


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