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Harry Norris vs. Alan Day for EID Division 5 director

By October 11, 2011

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.

Paul Raveling
El Dorado Hills 

Letter to the Editor

Discussion | 7 comments

  • J MillerOctober 11, 2011 - 11:05 am

    Sorry Paul, but for me it's about trust. I'm voting for a change> EID is the biggest "old boy club" around>

  • Greg PradaOctober 11, 2011 - 9:59 pm

    At the October 11th EID Board meeting, General Manager Abercrombie again showed plans for a 28% residential water increase for 2012...this follows an 18% increase in 2010 and 15% in 2011. EID increased their 2012 capital budget $2 million and has already approved a $1.2 million increase in their 2012 operating budget. EID Overhead spending is up 143% ($10 million) in the last eight years while number of water customers is up just 17% and CPI is up just 23%. Included in the Board-approved 2011 operating budget are such "essentials" as $2.2 million of consultants and contractors, 175 vehicles for 115 field employees, $6,000 management car allowances, $18,500 per employee medical plans, $12,500 per employee pension contributions, 7-10 weeks per employee paid time off, 3 PR employees, 5 HR employees, 20 Engineers, a 40% excess capacity "Taj Mahal" headquarters, $50 million of unfunded retiree benefits, etc. EID's new 2012-2016 Capital Plan includes $45 million for Hydro/FERC and $9 million of brand new IT projects. $60 million new debt already is planned to pay for these projects; associated interest costs on this new debt will force another 9% rate increase in 2013. Is "rubber-stamping" budgets with these kind of items what EDH ratepayers want from their EID Director? Why does EID continue to increase spending when our County, State and governments everywhere are cutting back? EID ratepayers deserve a Director who will tell EID management "No" to its excessive spending, debt hiking, more excess capacity, and rate hiking. Harry Norris is a most likeable person. But he hasn't lived up to his fiscal oversight responsibilities to EID ratepayers; literally tens of million of dollars have been squandered amongst the $750 million EID has spent in the eight years Harry has been on the EID Board. That's why, counting Property Tax subsidies, EID Sewer rates now are DOUBLE those of four nearby districts and Water rates are 23% to 110% higher than four surrounding districts. So it's time for El Dorado Hills to decide...likeable Harry who defers to management spending proposals and gives us "sky-high" rates?...or fiscal responsibility to the ratepayers? Please vote on November 8th! Visit www.FixEID.org for more of the rest of the story regarding what EID has done for ratepayers.

  • J MillerOctober 12, 2011 - 12:17 pm

    Agree 100%, nothing personal against Harry, but he can't deliver! These increases because of the ineptness of the EID board to see the future, will cause great harm to the fixed income seniors in our community!

  • Richard BoylanOctober 12, 2011 - 1:01 pm

    I'd suggest that the matter of who to vote for as EID Director is kind of simple. If you like your current EID bills and want to see them keep going higher, vote for incumbent Norris. If you want your EID bills to be brought under control, vote for local small businessman Alan Day, a breath of fresh air.

  • SummerOctober 13, 2011 - 11:51 am

    Mr. Boylan, I could not have said it better. Thank you!!

  • Want to keep anonymousAugust 12, 2013 - 4:15 pm

    Folks, Has almost 2 yrs of tenure of Alan Day has changed anything with EID ? EID Bills are still rising, Has the promise of cutting cost /billing been met ?

  • Fly on the WallAugust 13, 2013 - 12:41 am

    Alan Day can't do it himself. He needs two new board members to vote as he does. Maybe then we'll finally get somewhere.



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