The Big Bear Municipal Water District’s appointment of Division 2 Director Paula Fashempour as president is history-making as, per General Manager Scott Heule, “She is the first woman to be president for the district in 45 years, which is an exciting thing. Paula will bring a unique perspective to the presidency, as would any new president.” Though Fashempour is the MWD’s first female president, she is not the first female director to serve on the board that also includes Vice President Skip Suhay, John Eminger, Vince Smith and Todd Murphy; and, in fact, prior to Heule’s appointment as GM in 2007, 21-year MWD employee Sheila Hamilton had been general manager of the agency which oversees the lake.
Heule tells KBHR that the January 7 board reorganization meeting was upbeat, and also included some fee modifications for the 2010 boating season. Among those changes, the daily use fee for non-motorized vessels, including sailboats under 8’, has been reduced to $15 (which includes the $5 Quagga Protection Surcharge, first imposed by the district in 2009, to recover costs associated with keeping the invasive Quagga Mussel from infecting Big Bear Lake). Though the daily use fee for Big Bear Lake has been reduced, the district moved to increase the permit fees for film production, from $150 to $170, and still photography permits, noting that this is consistent with fees charged by the City of Big Bear Lake; a utility fee, of less than $3 per day, is also being implemented at the MWD’s RV park (just west of their offices) which, per Heule, should help the MWD recover about $10,000 annually.
And as, during this season of board reorganizations, we have outlined benefits for those serving in elected positions: MWD Directors receive $140.70 per meeting (not to exceed six in a month), as well as medical and dental benefits and, like City Councilmembers, a life insurance policy.