Lupe Tesso, an analyst for the Information Technology Group celebrated her 50-year work anniversary at Metropolitan last week. Thank you for all your years of service.
A weekly newsletter by and for Metropolitan employees
September 16, 2019
Metropolitan's Mid-Year Biennial Budget Review
Metropolitan operates with a biennial budget. Having just passed the midpoint of the FY 2018/19- 2019/20 biennial budget period, the Board last week was given an update on current conditions.

Water sales for FY 2018/19 were about 1.42 million acre-feet, which is 232,000 acre-feet - or 14% less than the budget anticipated. This is primarily due to cooler and wetter conditions of the past winter and improvement in our member agencies’ local supplies.

Expenditures for the first year of the biennial budget were also down for several reasons. Operations and Maintenance expenditures came in under budget due to prudent management of expenses and lower third-party claims, and costs for power on the State Water Project and the Colorado River Aqueduct were lower.

What does this mean for the forecast at mid-cycle of the biennial budget? 

Historically, water revenues and expenditures can quickly change under different hydrologic conditions. That’s why Metropolitan sets its biennial budget and rate-setting processes on average potential conditions and relies on water in storage and financial reserves to buffer water demand, revenue and cost volatility.

Over the last eight fiscal years, Metropolitan has experienced five drought years bookended by very wet years. However, in the current biennial budget period, both fiscal years have been wet years.

Revenues for FY 2019/20 are expected to be a million below budget. Financial reserves will be used to make up the shortfall while Metropolitan continues taking steps to meet future dry conditions by storing a record amount of water, managing O&M expenditures, and funding conservation and local resource development.
Testing to Meet the High
Metropolitan Standard
Silicone sealant between concrete is not something the average person spends a lot of time thinking about. Unless you’re a member of Metropolitan’s Materials Engineering Team who has spent two months testing sealant being considered for use on the headquarters improvement project.

For the team, whose duties include testing construction materials to ensure they will perform as expected, it was all in a day’s work. At the end of the process, Interim Team Manager Phil Drooks , Associate Engineer Jason Pagenkopp and Engineering Tech Steven Gallegos were able to show why they deemed the sealant acceptable for Met standards.

“People take it for granted,” said Drooks . “You look around the room and you see paint on the wall, sealant and carpet with adhesives. We test for all these things.”

For example, to abide by restrictions set by the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the team tests new industrial coatings to ensure that AQMD’s standards and Metropolitan’s performance standards are met.

“The coatings lab has been involved with manufacturers and AQMD for over 25 years to ensure that Metropolitan utilizes industrial coating products that will give us a reasonable lifetime for the duration we need,” said Infrastructure Unit Manager Mark Bushyeage r.

Recently the team tested the lining used for the Etiwanda pipeline relining project and the coating used in the refurbishment of a water tank.

“People often don’t think about everything that goes on in the background,” Bushyeager said. “But we know we’re making sure that Metropolitan’s system is reliable.”  
Delivering Mail & Smiles Everywhere She Goes
You may not work directly with her, but chances are if you’re on floors 1, 2, 6, 9, 10, or 12, Virginia Maddox is the friendly face you see every day.

Virginia has worked in Metropolitan’s mail room for 28 years. She affectionately calls the half dozen floors to which she delivers mail and packages “her floors,” and the people who work on them “her people.”

With great pride and even a few tears in her eyes, she describes the relationships she’s built, the milestones she’s celebrated, and the families she’s seen grow over the years – whether through past district picnics, or simply through the pictures adorning employees’ cubicles and offices.

“I love coming to work every day. I try my best for them,” she said of the staff to which she delivers mail. “I can’t tell you how many baby showers I’ve been to. I’ve seen people’s babies grow up here.”

She also roots and prays for others’ promotions and achievements, and helps celebrate them when they come along.

Over her nearly three decades at Met, she’s shared some milestones of her own.

When Virginia started in 1991 working in the mail room at Metropolitan’s former headquarters building off of Sunset Boulevard, her first grandson had just been born. Now he’s 29 years old and she has 14 more grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

“This wasn’t my first job, but it was my first long-term job,” she said.

Before coming to work at Metropolitan, Virginia worked in the mail rooms for Target, the accounting firm Deloitte, and in the subscriptions department for the Los Angeles Times. 
New hires, transfers, promotions & retirements are posted here each month.
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