The West Valley Water District (WVWD) recently announced the hiring of Martin Pinon as interim human resources and risk management manager.

“We are glad to have selected Mr. Pinion," said WVWD President Channing Hawkins. "He has the education, experience and skill set to assist West Valley at the critical time. The board and I look forward to working with him to develop and implement human resources policies and practices to move our organization forward.”

“I am truly excited about accepting this appointment to serve West Valley Water District," Pinon said. "With the support and leadership of the board of directors, our senior administration, and department leaders, I know we can turn this place around and achieve even more. The District ratepayers deserve the best service and the employees deserve a good, engaging and respectful workplace.”

Last Dec. 19, WVWD administered a temporary ban on recruitment and hiring of new personnel to address several human resources issues within the troubled district. The ban included an exception to positions that were considered critical to safe and effective operations of the district.

The hiring of Pinon does not end the freeze but is a critical step to lifting the temporary ban and resolving the district’s personnel issues, WVWD said in a news release.

In addition to implementing best practices and standards for human resources, Pinon will manage the district’s personnel activities including salary and benefits administration, workers’ compensation, risk management, safety, training, employee relations, recruitment and selection. Pinion will also ensure that the district is in compliance with employment laws and work with management to correct employee deficiencies, apply disciplinary actions, address grievances and follow up with complaints and inquiries, the district said.

Prior to his hiring at the WVWD, Pinion worked as the interim human resources director for the City of West Covina, where he was responsible for all human resources functions, including employee relations, labor relations and risk management.

He also served as interim HR manager and labor negotiator for the Inland Empire Utilities Agency in Chino.

“West Valley needs a breath of fresh air, and that’s exactly what Martin Piñon is," said WVWD Vice President Kyle Crowther. "He has a professional record of working with medium and large sized governmental entities and understands the value of employees. I am honored to extend my congratulations to Mr. Piñon as we work together on writing West Valley’s next chapter.”

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