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Day finds squeaky chair

By December 13, 2011

New El Dorado Irrigation District Division 5 Director Alan Day found his chair a little squeaky after he was sworn in Dec. 12 along with Directors George Osborne and Bill George.

At the public forum at the start of Monday’s meeting El Dorado Hills resident Paul Raveling criticized Day for having an “anti-EID website” and said Day’s “campaign arguments are hard to reconcile with the truth.”

“I look forward to working with all four of you gentlemen,” Day told his fellow board members. “I think we can find common ground. I don’t plan to come up here and blow things up. EID is a good organization. It has good people working for it. The folks down there (El Dorado Hills) are being (impacted) by the bills.”

Bill George, newly elected as board president, said, “We look forward to working with you.”

Director George Wheeldon, however, cautioned Day to “make sure you give out factual information.”

Wheeldon then proceeded to criticize Day’s statements in the Nov. 11 Bass Lake Bulletin, which were taken from Day’s campaign website, including “Less smoke and mirrors,” “a forensic audit” and “independent, outside, legal counsel to review questionable EID practices and alleged state law violations.”

“Have you read the latest audit?” Wheeldon asked, adding that it was only 2 months old. “Please read three years of evaluations of our legal counsel.”

Wheeldon added that the auditing firms are changed every three years.

“We used to have an outside counsel,” Osborne said. “We were getting billed for 25 hours in a day. It was a $2 million legal bill. This board determined that was not in the interest of the board. We have saved millions (by having a salaried in-house counsel).”

“He (Tom Cumpston) is one of the finest attorneys in the county,” Osborne added.

“I have the same concerns. We did not want the auditor to be too cozy with the administration,” said Director John Fraser. “We’ve recycled auditors. The auditors are well aware the board is looking over their shoulders.”

“I particularly take umbrage at the implied criticism of Cumpston. He is recognized statewide as one of the finest lawyers in the water business,” said Fraser.

“You (Day) seem to be a reasonable person,” Fraser added.

General Manager Jim Abercrombie said he wished he knew a good joke to lighten things up, but just welcomed Day to the board and said he was going to work to get Day some deep briefings on issues facing the district.

Michael Raffety

Discussion | 2 comments

  • Greg PradaDecember 13, 2011 - 3:00 pm

    With all the millions and millions of dollars EID has claimed to save the ratepayers (see the above claims along with this EID link http://www.eid.org/doc_lib/02_dist_info/FactSheet_Oct2011.pdf), why are EID residential water rates going up 28% in 2012? Why is there a compound rate increase of 74% for the three years 2010-2012? And why is a further 11% increase already in EID planning documents for 2013 that would result in a four year compound increase of 93%? Perhaps Director Wheeldon should use some of his fervor for "factual information" in reconciling the disconnect between EID claims of saving millions and millions of dollars, the 74% three year (and 93% four year) compound residential water rate increases, EID’s documented plans to raise $60 million more debt to continue its $15 million annual deficit spending, and why the District’s audit firm purportedly claimed “EID finances in good shape” (as was posted on EID’s website for more than one month after the audit). It doesn’t take much common sense to figure out why 61% of El Dorado Hills voters cast their ballots for Alan Day, saying “enough is enough” as in regard to EID’s fiscal “smoke and mirrors” and to its lack of inclusive forthrightness in its publicity releases. Either EID’s millions and millions of dollars of savings claims are bogus, there is something major wrong with EID’s financial reporting, or both. For certain, for the financial protection of EID ratepayers, an independent look by an authoritative independent agency is urgently needed.

  • Paul RavelingDecember 14, 2011 - 11:46 pm

    Perhaps Greg Prada could answer his own questions if he would read the reports from EID's Cost Of Services Committee, which he served on. He might also ponder a web site complaint, probably also written by him, that existing EID water rates are 19% LOWER than the average for Auburn, South Lake Tahoe, Folsom, and Rancho Murieta. On checking my own probable 2012 bills, my sewer bill will drop 9% in 2012 if my lowest winter consumption doesn't change. But I'm sure Greg Prada can find a reason to complain about a 9% decrease in customer cost. On the web site in question I counted 239 assertions purporting to show EID wrongdoing. So far ALL that I've checked have been wrong. My working conjecture for the real problem is that Greg Prada has a personal need for an enemy. It doesn't seem to matter what EID does, he'll find it to be at fault. And frankly, EID does not deserve that.



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