Compensation Information

Santa Margarita Water District provides water, sewer, recycled water and runoff services to approximately 165,000 residents within its service district located in south Orange County.

Board of Directors

The District is governed by a five member publicly elected Board of Directors which is responsible for the District’s strategies and policies. The Board of Directors receives a stipend of $270 per day, not to exceed 10 days per month, for attendance at District business-related meetings. The Board of Directors receives no health benefits, life insurance, retirement benefits or loans from the District.

View Director compensation for calendar year 2016 as reported to the State Controller’s Office.

General Manager

SMWD’s General Manager is the chief executive for the District and is responsible for the daily operation of the organization. These responsibilities include the management of 147 employees and an annual budgeted operating expenses of $72.6 million and budgeted gross capital expenditures of 79.2 million.

Daniel Ferons was appointed by the Board of Directors in June 2012 to serve as General Manager. Each year the General Manager’s employment agreement (PDF) is reviewed by the Board of Directors. Currently, Mr. Ferons receives an annual compensation of $291,163 as General Manager.

Employee Compensation

The District is committed to providing the highest value to our customers at the lowest possible price. The District continues its long-standing tradition of operational efficiency and based on surveys of other local agencies, the District has the lowest number of employees to customers ratio. Despite the fact that SMWD’s service connections have doubled since 1994, the District’s staff has decreased from 165 employees in 1994 to just 148 employees today.

SMWD employee salary ranges and benefits are negotiated with the employees' association and subject to a memorandum of understanding (MOU) (PDF) that is approved by District's Board of Directors. The current MOU is in effect July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2024.

SMWD reports Employee Compensation to the California State Controller's Office each calendar year. The information is provided to the State Controller's Office, but may not be published on their website until January. Any questions related to the local government compensation report, please contact the Finance Department at (949) 459-6570.

View the State Controller’s webpage for District Board member and staff compensation.

Questions? Please submit your question to Key Staff via email