On Oct. 11 Harry Norris and EID’s board again reviewed General Manager Abercrombie’s proposed 28 percent residential water rate increase for 2012.
There was a lot of bickering by different board members over which ratepayer segments should receive preferential rate breaks … but neither Harry or anyone else said “enough is enough, let’s truly cut spending, rescind the spending and capital budget increases we previously approved, and slash this 28 percent rate increase! ”
No … not one director gave cutting planned spending increases even one ounce of thought. Instead, EID continues to spend money like water, then raises rates and takes on more debt. The just approved 2012-16 Capital Improvement Plan includes $45 million of new spending for Hydro/Project 184 and $9 million in brand new IT projects. EID’s Engineering director admitted that just $6 million of the $21 million for 2012 is priority 1; $15 million is priority 2, which means that a fiscally prudent board would say “now is not the time to increase the 2012 capital plan” and then they would send management back to pare back their spending proposals.
To fund the capital plan, $60 million of new debt will be required which, in turn, will require an additional 11 percent rate increase in 2013. Under the current board, EID’s spending increases, debt hiking and rate hiking never even slow, much less pause.
Appointed to EID’s Cost of Services panel by Harry, for a long time I was a “Harry supporter,” certain that Harry wanted to change his fiscally imprudent ways. But I was wrong.
I continue to like Harry personally, but I have learned there is no way to stop EID’s lavish spending and rate hiking other than to change players on the board … to elect new directors who will take their oath for fiscal responsibility seriously.
Hopefully, Nov. 8 will be a new “Day” for EID … Alan Day. Alan is running for EID Division 5 on a platform of less spending, less debt hiking and less rate hiking. I say let’s give Alan a chance to prove he can do what Harry didn’t.
(And while we are at it, let’s also support Ray Van Asten to defeat 10-year incumbent George Osborne in EID Division 1. Alan and Ray would be a terrific “one-two” punch to infuse fiscal restraint into EID.)
For more on the rest of the story regarding what EID really continues to do to its ratepayers visit FixEID.org.
Time and time again, Harry has ignored his financial fiduciary responsibilities to ratepayers, instead “circling the wagons” along with EID’s management to deceive ratepayers as to true spending.