As the El Dorado Irrigation District closes its first six months of 2013, an activist friend from Bass Lake asked for a copy of EID’s Dec. 17, 2009, Proposition 218 notice — the one that was overlooked in many people’s holiday mail but announced EID’s intention to raise rates 80 percent over five years.
Looking back on that unwelcome and shocking Proposition 218 notice awakens vivid memories.
Who can forget the angry ratepayers overflowing the January 2010 hearing at the El Dorado Hills fire hall on Wilson with those outside banging on the windows clamoring for a chance to get in and have a piece of EID’s board?
Or how about the livid February 2010 crowd at the Placerville school house demanding that fiscally concerned former EID director Bill Bergmeister be allowed to finish his public comment objections against EID’s mushrooming debt? Especially heart-thumping was when then EID Board President John Fraser screamed his threat to shut down that special EID board meeting as two El Dorado county deputies with hands on holsters rushed to protect the dais.
Ah yes! Those were days of memorable EID ratepayer outcry.
Regrettably for ratepayer wallets, that ratepayer uproar proved to be fleeting and for naught. While EID trimmed those 80 percent of rate hikes (mostly through “smoke and mirrors” debt refinancing gimmicks), the next Proposition 218 notice in early 2012 subsequently traded in that 80 percent of five-year rate hikes and changed it into 102 percent of rate hikes over six years.
This Nov. 5, EID ratepayers in two EID divisions will have opportunity for less raucous but far more results-effective outcry. If ratepayers in EID’s divisions 2 and 4 darken their ballot circles for two fiscal reform director candidates, EID’s runaway spending and rate hikes can start being reined in.
Wouldn’t election of directors who care about ratepayers instead of unabated spending and rate hiking be a breath of fresh air and be far more welcome holiday greetings in 2013 for the 39,000 ratepayers of the El Dorado Irrigation District?