Wednesday, April 16, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Business as usual at EID?

EDITOR:

I attended the EID board meeting on Jan. 13 only to find that George Osborne, Bill George and Jim Ambercrombie believe that business as usual at EID is OK and that new board members can be intimidated into agreeing.

First, the board couldn’t agree on a vice president to preside when Alan Day is not able to conduct the meeting. Both George and Osborne seem to want to control the meeting agendas to maintain the status quo when president Day is not present.

Secondly, both George and Osborne expect newly elected directors to defer to them. They treat the newly elected directors with disdain if they question any proposals presented that they would adopt with no discussion. Dale Coco and Greg Prada were elected by the voters to not rubber stamp staff proposals.

Consent Calendar items don’t require lengthy discussion but director Prada requested to move two consent items that needed discussion to the regular agenda.

First was a request to approve an application for a $1 million federal grant for a low priority project that has been in planning for many years. Prada’s concern was that if the district were to receive the grant, it would have to raise an additional $3 million in debt to fund the project. No documentation was provided by staff regarding additional EID money. Director Osborne chided Director Prada for raising the issue. Is this how representative government is supposed to work? Intimidation by entrenched politicians when newcomers are raising questions?

Second was a disclosure policy that requires disclosure of material information relating to credit ratings, etc. that complies with securities laws. Not an insignificant issue, yet it apparently hadn’t been discussed prior to this meeting. EID has been selling bonds for years. Has the district not had a policy in place and if so why not? Director Prada was exercising the discretion that voters want. Understand what you’re voting for; don’t rubber stamp staff proposals.

Kudos to Prada for doing the right thing.

DARWIN THRONE
El Dorado Hills

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Discussion | 4 comments

  • Phil VeerkampJanuary 21, 2014 - 1:58 pm

    Mr. Throne, what you see as a welcome break from "business as usual" at EID may in fact be the beginning of Board dysfunction as some predicted during the campaign leading up to the election. First of all you premise "business as usual" at EID as a bad "culture" needing reform. I do not agree. EID has demonstrated HUGE levels of efficiencies in staff reduction, MOU concessions and bond refinancing. The FALSE perception that "business as usual" is bad is largely a product of the HUGE quantity do disinformation fed the public during the campaign - much coming from Mr. Prada, his "adviser" Jackiwitz(sp?) and other candidates. For the most part EID is AHEAD of the reform curve.

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  • Phil VeerkampJanuary 21, 2014 - 2:12 pm

    . . . Prada seemed unclear on the worthiness of saving 1,000-1,300 acre feet of lost ditch water. It's a NO BRAINER! The main ditch needs to be piped. Prada was willing to jeopardize a $1,000,000 grant to subsidize that CIP item. To bad that the main ditch is not already piped THIS DROUGHT YEAR! ~~~ Prada was further "confused" over bond refinance. ~~~ LINK - Prada digs into consent agenda ~~~ Let me make a prediction, and I pray that I am wrong. On January 27th there will be a split 2 - 2 vote with Day and Prada voting no and Osborne and George voting yes and Coco absent. The door to refinancing will close. Prada, Day (and Coco) will cost the ratepayers MILLIONS. ~~~ Bring back "business as usual".

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  • Dink LaneJanuary 21, 2014 - 3:11 pm

    Board members are sent by the people to speak for the people, not their fellow Board members. To pull important items off a "Consent" list is doing the people's work, not the Staff's work. It's the PEOPLE's $$$$ and the Board is responsible for those $$$$....... That's how EID ended up such financial trouble...... because NO ONE was asking questions.... The Bobble-heads were voted out with OVER 70% of the vote... And Prada was voted in to ASK questions.... especially if he's confused.... IF he's confused... then I can bet more than 50% of the people are confused.... STAFF... YOU JOB is to EXPLAIN..... so a voter can understand it.... not just an Operations manager....

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  • Phil VeerkampJanuary 21, 2014 - 3:20 pm

    Right, Dink. Me too! I especially like how Prada's COS 50-05 formula dumps hard onto the mobile home and low income and fixed income low water usage and water savers. In this drought year the low income folks will REALLY be doing their share . . . thanks Greg.

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