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By Miriam Raftery


Photo: Creative Commons via Bing


July 14, 2020 (La Mesa) – Helix Water District’s board of directors will vote this Wed., July 15 at 5 p.m. on a proposal to give a 5 percent annual raise for General Manager Carlos Lugo. The raise would be effective Feb. 1, 2021 for each year though 2023.

Lugo has served as general manager for the district since 2012. The vote would also renew his term of employment set to expire in Feb. 2021. The proposed raise follows an annual review and is based upon his “excellent service to the district,” according to the agenda.


Lugo’s current salary is $258,422.41.  With the raise, in Feb. 2021 and 2022 his salary would rise to $271,343.53 and $284,910.71.


The proposal drew ire from an ECM reader, Gordon, who did not provide his last name.  “Unbelievable,” he wrote. “We are in a worldwide pandemic in which most people are worried about making their next month’s bills and having a job.”  


He suggests voters keep the matter in mind in November when voting on directors, adding, “We are in an election year, right?”


Due to COVID-19, the meeting will be held online. 


To call in and hear the meeting, dial  1-669-900-6833 or 1-346-248-7799 and enter meeting ID: 824 3905 2115 & Meeting Password: 233864.


For public comments during the meeting, the board president will inquire prior to board discussion if there are any comments from the public on each item. Alternatively, if a member of the public prefers to submit their comment by email, the board secretary will submit any emailed comments to the board president. 


You can submit comments via email to sandy.janzen@helixwater.org before 4 p.m. on July 15. Comments will be read aloud during the public comments  portion of the agenda.


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Gosh! I don't see how he can get by on only two hundred and fifty thousand dollars per year.


The problem is that here is the head of an organization, which if it were private, might make greater than 10 or 100 times that. So our public servants do have a case to make about why it is they are taking a small percentage on the same responsibility. I'm much more in favor of a maximum remuneration for every organization - one that is tied numerically to what the lowest paid employee earns. That way if board members or executives wanted a raise for themselves, they would need to pay their workers more. Raise all boats, but mean it this time. "Trickle down" was always a cynical and very successful ploy with which to swindle, and most Americans made love to the baited hook. And ended up in the Yeti.