Harry Norris vs. Alan Day for EID Division 5 director
We need to re-elect Harry Norris as our EID Division 5 director unless Alan Day can tell us very specifically what he can do better. Harry Norris’ record continues to demonstrate a focus on reality and responsibility to ratepayers. Elected in November 2003, he joined the EID board in 2004. Then, its planning was still guided by need to accommodate record high growth in El Dorado Hills. Also in 2004 growth began to drop, finally plummeting to effectively zero in 2009 throughout the county.
His opponent, Alan Day, has presented arguments about spending debt, and rates that depend on EID business before 2004.
In spending, Harry Norris and the board have cut $202 million out of the Capital Improvement Plan just since 2009. They variously arrested and deferred plans for major capacity expansion at the EDH Water Treatment Plant, the two west-county wastewater treatment plants and related infrastructure. EID also reduced operating costs, cutting employment by 79 from its record high of 305 in 2007 to 226, its lowest level since 2002.
Alan Day considers excess capacity a sign of excess spending. That was partly right when population growth began to drop, but then the cause was the rapid change in growth. EID adjusted, but capacity grew in 2009 and 2010 due to major decrease in demand for water: Two years of exceptionally cool and wet weather dropped 2010 water deliveries to their lowest level since some year before 1990. That revenue loss is partly offset by increased hydroelectric generation from Project 184, which produced $8 million in 2010.
While Harry Norris has been on the board, 2004-11, debt has grown 49 percent. This is well below the 200 percent (tripling) that Alan Day said of the last eight years, 2003-11.
Alan Day said EID water rates have nearly doubled in eight years, for a 100 percent increase. EID’s own one-number citation is 78 percent, but drilling down to residential rates in Harry Norris’ term, 2004-11, shows less. At 4,000 cubic feet per two-month billing period, just over my own peak summer use, the increase is 61 percent; 2,000 cubic feet is up 37 percent and my winter consumption of 1,000 cubic feet had only a 19.9 percent increase.
EID’s water rates were the lowest in the Sacramento region until the 2010 increases. Now EID is the third lowest among 14 water providers surveyed. My actual 2011 peak summer water consumption would cost 65 percent more in Placerville.
Alan Day says sewer bills are 50 percent+ higher than eight years ago. Actually they’re 97 percent higher than eight years ago (2003), but only 75 percent higher for rates that Harry Norris helped to set. My own 2011 EID sewer bills would be 47 percent higher in the city of Placerville.
Harry Norris has demonstrated exceptional knowledge, intelligence and responsibility to his constituents. This is what EID needs in these times of economic stress.
See sierrafoot.org for a more extensive fact check presented mainly in graphs.
El Dorado Hills