Letters to the Editor

Jakowatz claims about EID inaccurate

By From page A5 | July 11, 2012

In a letter to the editor written by Jon Jakowatz on July 3 and updated on July 4 he accuses El Dorado Irrigation District of denying access of thousands of public documents to the public as a result of the installation of our new website. He also implies that the district has been less that forthright in announcing our new website to the public.

Jakowatz’ assertions could not be further from the truth. The facts are that we have launched a new website that will provide even easier access to all of our documents. Our website was last updated in 2006. Since that time our existing website had become outdated, from a technology standpoint, and did not allow us to communicate as effectively as we would have liked. Therefore, we created a new website that contains even more customer-friendly features that our customers have been requesting. We also have used updated technology that will allow visitors to sign up to be notified when news, meetings, documents, jobs and projects are posted to the site.

We have migrated most of the same documents from the old website to the new one at the time of the launch and will continue to migrate more documents as we further refine our website. We did remove some older, less pertinent documents, but those, as well as others, are available to the public if they are requested via the Public Records Act process.

Mr. Jakowatz is very familiar with the ability to access records through the public records process, as he, himself, has done so at ten times over the last two years, and we have fulfilled his requests 100 percent of the time, just as we would for others requesting information. Also, Mr. Jakowatz does not hesitate to personally contact me with questions, which are answered in a very timely fashion.

Finally, in response to his claim that we were not being forthright about announcing our new website, that is also simply not true. It was featured prominently on the front page of the District’s July/August customer newsletter, The Waterfront, and that edition is on the front page of the new website. It is also being sent in customer’s billing statements that are being processed at this time. The new website will also be showcased at the upcoming board meeting on July 23, which will be the first meeting since its launch.

Mary Lynn Carlton
Director, Communications and Community Relations
El Dorado Irrigation District

Letter to the Editor

Discussion | 9 comments

  • Jon JakowatzJuly 05, 2012 - 2:45 pm

    Mary Lynn - thank you for your interest in my concern about EID shutting off access to an unknown number of documents. Yes, as I confirmed, EID did put a short three paragraph article in the July-Aug Waterfront. Did the article say when the website would go up? No. Did the website go up in June? Yes. Did the GM say anything about this most significant change at the June 25th Board meeting? No. Is the website a beta version? I am told, "Yes". Has the new document management system broke links to unknown numbers of EID public documents? Yes. Mary Lynn, you do a fine job of doing your job, which is to inform the public of what is going on at EID. But, this time, probably through no fault of your own, EID has once again come up short on full disclosure to the public in a timely and thorough manner. I truly wish this change would have gone better and that you would not again be put on the spot defending EID missteps. Were you left out of the website project planning? When will the public have full access to ALL the documents they had access to prior to June 28? Mary Lynn, it's okay to attack me for exposing another EID surreptitious action. It would have been so much better had the public notification and installation of the new website been done in a more professional manner, without any loss (temporary or permanent) of access to public documentation. Jon Jakowatz EID Ratepayer

  • Greg PradaJuly 05, 2012 - 2:50 pm

    EID's Communication Director Ms. Carlton is certainly not one to be spewing allegations of inacuracy. Just last week Ms. Carlton authored an EID News Release that falsely and deceptively headlined "DISTRICT RECEIVES UPGRADED CREDIT RATING SAVING RATEPAYERS A MILLION DOLLARS OVER TIME". The Mountain Democrat printed Ms. Carlton's false headline and willfully deceptive press release word for word. And that same press release somehow is not currently still on EID's website adding credence to aspects of Mr. Jakowatz's allegation. EID ratepayers shouldn't have to pay substantial consultant fees for unnecessary new websites when the old website worked just fine. Neither should EID ratepayers have to pay six-figure salaries plus car plus $46,000 of benefits for unnecessary EID Communications Directors to spew out willfully deceptive, unjustifiably self congratulatory EID propaganda.

  • Paul RavelingJuly 09, 2012 - 11:15 pm

    Greg Prada is again inventing his own reality. The financial analysis was in fact reported to demonstrate about $1 million savings over time due to the new savings in interest rates. Those were due to improved bond ratings, the improved bond ratings were in response to EID's recovery from the debt service coverage ratio squeeze in 2010. In the last EID board meeting the independent auditor was present and answered a direct question about another recent false claim by Mr. Prada. This was about a claim by Mr. Prada in email the night before this meeting, which he did not attend. The auditor responded that Mr. Prada's claim was factually wrong. The persistent pattern is that Mr. Prada's claims against EID have been verifiably wrong, EID's own statements have been verifiably correct.

  • Greg PradaJuly 10, 2012 - 4:36 am

    EID's publicity releases have claimed tens of millions of dollars of savings since General Manager Jim Abercrombie took over at EID in Fall 2009. Yet EID has passed 102% of water rate increases for 2010-2015 and plans to raise $60 million more debt in 2013 to continue its $15 million annual deficit spending. EID further has $53 million of unfunded pensions and retiree medical costs... all arising under the 2003-2011 Board, and which will add another 11% to rates when EID stops ignoring their costs. The foregoing is the reality that more than 38,000 regular EID ratepayers are experiencing. As for the auditor, Board audio recordings confirm that that the auditor made absolutely no representation regarding any communication or claim of mine. In fact, the auditor's opinion letter clearly states that he makes no representation regarding any of Management's assertions other than the accuracy of the audited financial statements...just 29 of the 115 pages in EID's 2011 Consolidated Annual Financial Report. Paul Raveling dishonestly continues to make up false accusations against any EID critic wishing to stand up for regular ratepayers. Mr. Raveling still can't get over that his friend Harry Norris was soundly renounced 61%-39% by El Dorado Hills ratepayers fed up with EID's sky-high rates, rapid fire rate increases, runaway spending, bogus savings claims...and willfully deceptive public communications.

  • Paul RavelingNovember 06, 2013 - 12:15 am

    Mr. Prada's comment about me is libelous. I am scrupulously honest, I do not make up false accusations, and I want a public apology from Mr. Prada.

  • Nixon, Clinton & RavelingNovember 07, 2013 - 7:10 am

    Three claims of the same veracity: "I am not a crook". "I did not have sex with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky." "I am scrupulously honest".

  • Phil VeerkampNovember 07, 2013 - 9:05 pm

    Mr. Jakowatz & Mr. Prada, do you two continue to maintain your assertions from 2012, " In a letter to the editor written by Jon Jakowatz on July 3 and updated on July 4 he accuses El Dorado Irrigation District of denying access of thousands of public documents to the public as a result of the installation of our new website." Do you two still assert that the new EID website hides pertinent data and records?

  • Jon JakowatzNovember 08, 2013 - 3:29 pm

    The 2012 EID Website debacle claimed the lives of an untold (by EID) number of documents. EID has never made an accounting of the documents that lived and died in the switch to a new and unintuitive file system. No one outside of EID can really know how many thousands of documents died. Sixteen months post-event, it is very likely that EID has buried the evidence. Further, you will not find anywhere in EID Board agendas, minutes, or packets where the Board approved the project. How was it paid for? Using the GM's $50,000 approval authority and parsing the project out in pieces. More dirt under the proverbial rug. However, here are two example documents that were available on the "old" EID website and cannot be found on the "new" website: The infamous December 17, 2009 Proposition 218 Notice (6 pages) informing ratepayers of a cumulative 87% rate hike. Surely ratepayers recall the firestorm fomented by this little Christmas present. And the document? Gone from public view at EID. The April 2007 El Dorado Hills Wastewater Treatment Plant Phase III Expansion Initial Study and Proposed Mitigated Negative Declaration document (71 pages). A $65 million project and this document is gone from public view at EID. Also MIA for public access on the EID website, any EID Board meeting agenda, packet, or minutes prior to 2010. For a price, EID will dig up a copy for you. But, is this really how a public agency should operate?

  • Paul RavelingNovember 09, 2013 - 10:02 pm

    Mr. Jakowatz and any interested others can find many older documents, including the 2009 Prop 218 Notice and EID CAFR documents dating back to 1999 on my web site. Look in the directory tree rooted at http:www.sierrafoot.org/civics/eid_2013/reference/. The EID site has a very clean user interface with excellent navigation to reach reasonably recent documents. Sites with the degree of archival content that Mr. Jakowatz wants are rare for very good reasons: Public usability usually is the top reason.



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