As state slashes budget, director for proposed Delta tunnel earns twice as much as the governor – Sacramento News & Review 6/24/20
While the COVID-19 pandemic has blown a $54 billion hole in California’s budget—threatening education and safety programs and forcing 234,000 state employees to take unpaid furloughs—the state’s spending on a proposed massive tunnel project in the Delta hasn’t slowed.
Documents obtained by SN&R reveal that the director of the joint powers authority leading that effort, under the supervision and current financing of the state Department of Water
Resources, is getting paid $47,000 every month—twice as much as Gov. Gavin Newsom and significantly more than President Trump.
DWR says that the money to pay Kathryn Mallon, executive director of the Delta Conveyance Design and Construction Authority, will eventually be reimbursed by water contractors in Central and Southern California.
But will it? As of this month, at least four of those contractors made it clear that they don’t want to foot the bill for Mallon’s agency during the pandemic.
Restore the Delta’s Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla responds:
“While the rest of the state is scraping to get by, and funding for meaningful Delta programs like levee repairs are inadequately or not funded, public water agencies and DWR have authorized salaries that are disproportionate to the times we are living in. We understand paying for expertise. But the Delta needs expertise based on healing it, not tearing it up.”