The Costa Mesa Sanitary District (CMSD) was honored with four prestigious awards at the recent California Special Districts Association (CSDA) 2021 Annual Conference in Monterey. The four awards were the most received by a special district at the conference and recognized CMSD’s commitment to transparency, innovation, exceptional customer service and prudent fiscal practices.

CMSD was recognized with the following awards:

  • Staff Member of the Year – CMSD Management Analyst II Gina Terraneo was honored for her outstanding contributions to the District and the community. Ms. Terraneo is responsible for CMSD’s information technology, emergency preparedness, community outreach, legislative analysis, and assists the District Clerk on a broad spectrum of programs and duties.
  • Innovative Project of the Year – CMSD was lauded for implementing a sewer manhole cover condition project that utilizes artificial intelligence to detect the current condition of manhole covers, using a GoPro camera attached to a District vehicle that records each manhole cover in streets throughout CMSD’s service area. After the manhole covers are recorded, the artificial intelligence manhole detection model rates their condition on a scale of 1 to 5, with a 5 meaning the manhole cover requires immediate repair. The program is saving the District more than $40,000 a year by avoiding physical inspection and, more importantly, it has greatly improved the safety of District employees by avoiding potential injuries from fast-moving vehicles.
  • District of Distinction Accreditation – Platinum Level – For the 12th consecutive year, CMSD was recognized for its commitment to sound fiscal management policies and practices by earning the District of Distinction accreditation. To receive this honor, special districts must adopt sound policies in governance, board conduct, finances, transparency and reserves; obtain clean financial audits; and place an emphasis on continuing education. Platinum is the highest accreditation level that can be obtained by a special district.
  • Transparency Certificate of Excellence – The District was singled out for its demonstrated and varied commitment to public transparency, including the recent implementation of upgrades to its audio-visual system that enables the public to participate in Board meetings anywhere via Zoom. This marks the eighth consecutive year in which the District received the Transparency Certificate of Excellence.

“My fellow CMSD Board Members and I are very proud of our staff’s accomplishments, and we greatly appreciate CSDA’s recognition of the District’s outstanding contributions to good governance,” said CMSD President Bob Ooten.

CSDA, is a 501c (6), not-for-profit association that was formed in 1969 to promote good governance and improved core local services through professional development, advocacy, and other services for all types of independent special districts.  CSDA is located in Sacramento and has more than 1,000 special district memberships.

 About CMSD: Formed in 1944, CMSD is an independent special district that provides solid waste and wastewater collection services to a population of approximately 116,700 in Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, and unincorporated Orange County. For more information and the latest CMSD news, visit and follow CMSD on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. To get in touch with CMSD staff, email or call (949) 645- 8400.