RIALTO, CA — The West Valley Water District (WVWD) Board of Directors confirmed its selection of Interim General Manager Shamindra “Rickey” Manbahal as the permanent general manager. Manbahal brings decades of experience as a trusted, experienced public officer to his now-permanent role as general manager.
“Mr. Manbahal has served our water district as interim general manager with distinction and we couldn’t be more proud to have him on board as our permanent general manager,” said WVWD Board President Channing Hawkins. “As a public organization, Manbahal’s vision for a fiscally and environmentally-sustainable West Valley Water District that can expand to meet growing consumer demand will be critical to our success.”
“I’m honored to have been selected as West Valley Water District’s general manager. I believe I have proven my dedication to improving transparency, efficiency, and trust at every level of this organization and am excited to help guide this organization through its continued rebirth and growth. We’re working on a critical resource at a very critical time. Dealing with major issues such as drought and population growth over the next several years will not be an easy task, but I’m confident that we have what it takes to continue to create a model organization,” said the new GM, Rickey Manbahal.
When Mr. Manbahal was hired as chief financial officer in 2019, WVWD was in a state of financial and administrative turmoil. As a part of WVWD leadership, Manbahal worked with the Board of Directors to turn around the agency and enact ten major reforms to resolve financial issues and deliver greater accountability, transparency and savings for ratepayers. These actions resulted in WVWD receiving the Special District Leadership Foundation Transparency Certificate of Excellence.
“Mr. Manbahal’s years of dependable public service and exceptional tenure with the water district made him the clear choice for elevation to permanent general manager,” said WVWD Board Vice President Kyle Crowther. “We’re proud of the work Mr. Manbahal has done for this organization and look forward to continued progress in the renewal and growth of our water district under his tenure.”
Over the past several years, Manbahal’s experience and efforts were critical to the organization’s success as he implemented a purchasing card program or CAL-Card to minimize fraud, created an accounting manual of practices that manages and protects assets, developed a strict budget calendar that holds board and staff members accountable, modernized the organization’s files through a new digital records management system and more. Even in the face of a decline in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Manbahal produced a responsible fiscal year 2020-2021 budget that generated $416,000 in cost savings without raising rates for ratepayers. Most recently, Manbahal led WVWD’s effort to secure a U.S. Environmental and Protection Agency loan for capital improvements worth nearly $25 million.
Prior to his tenure at WVWD, Manbahal served as director of finance, assistant financial services director and interim finance director for localities throughout California. Before these positions, Manbahal worked as an internal auditor for the County of Los Angeles. Manbahal earned his master’s degree in public administration from California State University Northridge and a bachelor’s degree in accounting. He also serves as a part-time lecturer at UCLA Extension, where he leads intensive courses in auditing, accounting and business management.