Letters to the Editor

Public apology

By From page A5 | September 13, 2017

EDITOR:

This letter starts with a long overdue public apology — one I should have made years ago.

While serving on the El Dorado Irrigation District Board of Directors I appointed Greg Prada to serve on a citizens’ rate study committee. This was a huge mistake — one I have regretted ever since. While on the committee Prada was disruptive in meetings, antagonistic toward fellow committee members and disrespectful to EID staff. I apologize to EID staff and to EID ratepayers for my error.

It gets worse. Prada used his committee appointment as a springboard to win a seat on the EID board. For the past three-and-a-half years Prada has continued his boorish ways toward staff, fellow board members and even some EID customers.

But, it gets worse still. Prada consistently uses his position to flaunt regulations and public safety in the name of fiscal responsibility. One example is his repeated “no” votes to repair the 94-year-old earthen-fill dam at Pollock Pines. Failure to make the required repairs jeopardizes public safety, adversely affects the safe and efficient operation of EID’s hydroelectric system and limits the amount of back-up water storage to serve EID customers. Failure to start the repairs this year will also result in costly state action against EID, which will ultimately cost EID ratepayers. The repairs must be done.

In addition to making the dam safer and satisfying a state mandate, the project will help protect against future water shortages by increasing water storage from 1.5 days to 6.0 days. The added capacity will also increase hydroelectric income approximately $330,000 annually. Approving this project should be a no-brainer, but not for Greg Prada. He again voted against it at the Aug. 14 EID board meeting. Fortunately, other more responsible EID directors approved the vital project so the dam will be fixed.

Some might think that Prada’s thumbing his nose at state regulators is admirable; others might think that it’s crazy. It’s neither. It’s deceitful. Prada knows full well that honest directors on the board will make the sometimes difficult decisions to approve required projects. That leaves Prada to take credit for trying to hold down rates, a laudable goal if it weren’t so dishonest. Failing to approve projects, such as the dam repair, for perceived political gain is a dereliction of Prada’s duty as an EID director. EID customers deserve better.

HARRY NORRIS
Camino

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