Established by a vote of the people and led by a popularly elected board of directors, IID exists to serve the public. As such, its twofold mission of delivering water and electrical power to the communities that make up its service area is carried out with a public purpose. The business of IID is, by definition, the people's business. As a public agency that depends on the consent of the governed, the district's organizational structure and policy-making function are intended to be as open and transparent as possible.
Organized in 1911 under the California Irrigation District Act, the IID is governed by a five-member Board of Directors. Elected by the public, each Director represents one of five political divisions within the Imperial Valley.
IID Board of Directors meetings start at 1 p.m. and are held on the first and third Tuesday of each month. These meetings take place in the William R. Condit Auditorium, at 1285 Broadway, in El Centro.
Semi-annual meetings are held in the La Quinta Boardroom, at 81-600 Avenue 58, in La Quinta.
Click on the link below for a detailed schedule of meetings.
2017 Board of Directors Meeting Schedule [PDF]
(dates and location subject to change)
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Division 1: Matthew A. Dessert
Division 2: Bruce Kuhn, President
Division 3: James C. Hanks
Division 4: Erik Ortega
Division 5: Norma Sierra Galindo, Vice President
Director Matthew Dessert is the Imperial Irrigation District director representing Division 1, which includes parts of El Centro and western Imperial County and Westmorland, the Naval Air Facility and the southwest area of the Salton Sea. He represents IID on the California Farm Water Coalition.
Director Dessert was elected to the IID board in November 2010 and re-elected in 2014. A lifetime resident of Imperial County, Director Dessert was employed as an administrative analyst for the Imperial County Air Pollution Control District for more than 10 years. Prior to his work there, he was employed for over a decade in the farming and seed industry. He is a graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in ag business management.
Director Dessert’s current term expires December 2018.
Director Bruce Kuhn serves as the Imperial Irrigation District director representing Division 2, which includes the southeastern areas of El Centro, part of Heber and Seeley, Plaster City and western Imperial County. Director Kuhn first served on the board from 1996-2004. He was elected in November 2012 for his third term and re-elected in the June 2016 primary.
During his previous time as director, Director Kuhn served on the district’s water, general services, information technology and human resources committees; he served as IID board president in 1999 and 2004.
A native of the Imperial Valley, Director Kuhn has been self-employed in the land leveling business since 1982. Prior to that, he worked as a police officer for 12 years with the El Centro Police Department.
Director Kuhn attended Imperial Valley College where he majored in political science. He also studied law enforcement at the College of the Redwoods in Eureka, Calif., graduating from the Peace Officers Standards and Training Academy.
His civic involvement includes:
Director Kuhn has also been recognized for his humanitarian efforts. In 2004, he was honored with the NAACP’s Martin Luther King Jr. Image Award for public service.
Director Kuhn’s current term expires December 2020.
Director James C. Hanks serves as the Imperial Irrigation District director representing Division 3, which includes Brawley, Calipatria, Niland and the southeastern areas of the Salton Sea. He also serves on the state’s Colorado River Board.
Director Hanks was elected to the board in the 2006 primary, but began serving as director following the May 2006 death of incumbent director Lloyd Allen (he had been appointed by the Imperial County Board of Supervisors to fill the vacancy in July 2006).
Director Hanks is a retired school superintendent, having worked in the education field for 38 years. He holds master’s, bachelor’s and associate of science degrees in counseling. He was raised in Brawley and attended Imperial Valley College, Southern Utah, San Diego State and the University of San Diego. He served as superintendent for the Calipatria Unified School District for 20 years. He was also principal for four years and assistant principal for seven years in Niland and Calipatria schools. Early in his career he was a teacher and an assistant principal in the Seeley Union School District.
Mr. Hanks has also served on:
He was a member of the Association of California School Administrators and has been a member of the Calipatria Lions Club for more than 25 years. He was honored by the Lions Club with the Melvin Jones Fellowship for community service.
Director Erik Ortega serves as the Imperial Irrigation District director representing Division 4, which includes the majority of Calexico, south Heber and the IID service area along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Director Ortega was elected in the November 2016 general runoff election. Prior to being seated on the IID board, Mr. Ortega had served as trustee for the Calexico Unified District as school board president. He is also a Calexico businessman.
Mr. Ortega’s current term expires December 2020.
Director Norma Sierra Galindo, who currently serves as president of the IID Board of Directors, represents IID Division 5, which includes the cities of Imperial, Holtville and parts of Calexico and eastern Imperial County.
Ms. Galindo was first elected to the board in a special election in 2012 and re-elected in 2014.
Before serving as director, Ms. Galindo was appointed to IID’s Energy Consumers Advisory Committee where she served for eight years. In 2005, Director Galindo was elected to the Imperial Community College District Board of Trustees and served on its bond oversight committee.
Director Galindo works as an instructor for Calexico High School’s Allied Health Professions program and as an educator for Imperial Valley Regional Occupational Program’s Medical Assistant and Business Departments. She also operates a private interpretation and translation business.
A graduate of Calexico High School, director Galindo was awarded a bachelor’s degree in history and anthropology from the University of California and holds a state teaching credential.
Her service includes:
Director Galindo’s current term expires December 2018.