VOM Water District names new GM
Muelrath to start at end of April
At a special meeting Tuesday night in El Verano, the Valley of the Moon Water District (VOMWD) board of directors appointed Daniel Muelrath the district’s general manager. Muelrath replaces Krishna Kumar, who served as GM for eight years before leaving to take a position leading the Marin Municipal Water District.
Muelrath has been Santa Rosa’s water resources sustainability manager – often familiarly referred to as a “water cop” – since 2005. He leaves that position to come to the water district, where he will become GM effective April 24. The Santa Rosa resident is also a lecturer at Santa Rosa Junior College in water management and computer application classes, something he will continue to do. Muelrath is highly rated by students on ratemyprofessors.com, including getting a chili pepper rating for “hotness.”
He has a bachelor of science degree in agribusiness with a minor in water science and also an MBA in finance from the California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo.
Board President Ron Prushko said the board members were all impressed with Muelrath’s water education and experience with the city of Santa Rosa. They were also, said Prusko, impressed with his grasp of water theory and preparedness. In fact before his interview with the board, said Prusko, “He came in and requested the last three years of minutes from the meetings and read them all.”
Since December, Mark Bramfitt, who served on the VOMWD board for 12 years, filled the position in an interim capacity, stepping down from the board, while the search for a permanent replacement was conducted. Bramfitt applied for the position and was interviewed, and now will have no further involvement with the board after April 24.
The search for a new GM was conducted with the help of consultant Lee Harry, who held the GM position prior to Kumar, and had, in fact, also recruited Kumar. In all, the district received 31 applicants for the position and found five of them, including Bramfitt, qualified enough for an interview.
After the final interview, in which three individuals were considered top candidates, the board convened in closed session and, according to Prushko, took three votes to agree on offering Muelrath the post. The first and second votes resulted in split decisions, with first three and then two of the five members voting for someone besides Muelrath. After a third vote, Muelrath was the candidate they unanimously agreed upon.
The annual salary for the general manager position is $120,000.