Monday, April 21, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

EID competent

EDITOR:

El Dorado Irrigation District customers should be aware of two items of EID news. One is new information on California water rates throughout California in 2011, the other is 2012 audit results adopted at the Monday, June 24, board meeting. The rate survey used a benchmark of monthly cost when consuming 1,500 cubic feet of water (11,220 gallons).

EID rates were the 46th lowest among 216 agencies: 45 agencies were cheaper, 170 agencies were more expensive. Among 15 Sacramento area agencies, EID was second-cheapest — $1.52 per month above the lowest rate in our area, $88.09 below the highest rate.

If this surprises customers who think EID’s rates are exceptionally high, the surprise is appropriate: This is real-world data, not an opinion, not a distortion. Bar graphs and tables are posted on sierrafoot.org.

Monday’s EID board meeting was attended by EID’s independent auditors, but not by any of the vocal critics. One of those critics already had written publicly about “deepening financial woes” and “a net loss of $10.8 million.” That claim simply doesn’t hold water. One indirect recognition of the truth was that Standard & Poors and Moody’s upgraded EID’s ratings from “A” to “A+” and “A1.”

EID’s total budget had a total cash surplus of $16 million. The “Net Position”calculation adds in a big paper cost to write down Depreciation and Amortization — $21.4 million in this case. That produces a “Net Position” paper deficit of $5.4 million decline in “Net Position.” The EID critic, a gent from Cameron Park, ignored the difference between cash flow and change in net assets, as well as ignored $5.4 million in cash revenue from Capital Contributions. That was another $5.4 million in 2012.

Thus, this gent claims a $16 million cash surplus is a $10.8 million loss. The cash surplus isn’t overbilling, its most directly relevant use would be to cover the future actual cost of replacing the depreciated infrastructure as it ages. Another use might be to cover unfunded pension liability.

EID has been making 100 percent of the required payments to CalPERS. The unfunded pension liability arose when CalPERS investments declined in value during “the Great Recession.” EID began addressing this in 2011 by joining the newly-formed CERBT, California Employers’ Retiree Benefit Trust Fund. EID’s first payment to CERBT was $6 million in 2012, paid from reserves.

The bottom line is that it’s not EID that functions poorly; on the whole, EID has demonstrated very high competence. We in the public need to recognize that the real issue is those among us who choose to believe in an alternate reality that simply isn’t true.

PAUL RAVELING
El Dorado Hills

Letters to the Editor

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Discussion | 30 comments

  • Phil VeerkampJuly 17, 2013 - 11:10 am

    Paul, THANK YOU! But I have to say, Paul, that in my opinion you are excessively polite. Your tact is probably more productive than mine. But GREG PRADA does not deserve such . . . uh . . . refined rebuttal. He is dangerous. As a member of the Cost of Services study GREG PRADA had the opportunity to access, digest, analyze, understand and convey to EID customers real and important FACTS about our water and sewer services provider. Greg failed that charge. In addition to misrepresenting the financial footing of EID Prada prattles on and on about "excess capacity". I'm not sure but I think that in Prada's mind "excess capacity" has something to do with water rights. Greg is dangerous because the average EID customer is likely to not understand that right now there exists a REAL, TODAY, ON-GOING risk to western El Dorado County. The reality is that there exists the exact OPPOSITE of "excess capacity". The existing Diamond Springs and west county needs water from SMUD's White Rock Penstock TODAY. I have two possible theories to explain Greg Prada - 1) Greg Prada is too stupid to pour pi$$ out of a boot. 2) Greg Prada is somebody's lackey. stupid and/or dishonest = dangerous

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  • Kirk MacKenzieJuly 17, 2013 - 12:18 pm

    EID's over delivery to the EDH and under investment in infrastructure has put the west county at risk. That explains why EID's rates have been artificially low, and argues against their "competence". It also explains the push for high density general plan changes to help offset these latent costs for water delivery infrastructure with no regard for we the people of this county.

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  • Phil VeerkampJuly 17, 2013 - 1:01 pm

    LINK - EID report points to White Rock tap . . . found within LINKED article - “I echo what Doug said on the quality of the planning process,” said Cameron Park retiree Greg Prada. (Prada is one curious duck!)

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  • Kirk MacKenzieJuly 17, 2013 - 2:10 pm

    According to you, Mr Prada is "dangerous". What's your point?

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  • Phil VeerkampJuly 17, 2013 - 11:39 am

    LINK - •2013 Integrated Water Resources Master Plan begin - PDF thumbnail 210 - document page 196

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  • Kirk MacKenzieJuly 17, 2013 - 2:07 pm

    According to Figure ES-7, given the slower growth projections, the system has the capacity to cover "max day demand" until ~2030. But you say we are in crisis now. Which is it?

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  • Phil VeerkampJuly 17, 2013 - 2:55 pm

    Kirk, you are misrepresenting Figure ES-7. The operative words in Figure ES-7 are "EXISTING PRODUCTION CAPACITY" The constraint is TRANSMISSION not production. If your house's breaker box is equipped with small breakers it is irrelevant how much electricity PG&E produces. If your breaker to your stove is too small . . .

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  • Kirk MacKenzieJuly 17, 2013 - 3:08 pm

    So your comment about just recently being able to tap White Rock was a smoke screen. So we are back to EID *is* incompetent for over delivering to EDH while under developing the requisite infrastructure and under charging customers. Thanks for the clarification...

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  • Phil VeerkampJuly 17, 2013 - 3:16 pm

    Greg? Greg, stop pretending to be Kirk.

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  • Phil VeerkampJuly 17, 2013 - 3:21 pm

    further info @ 1-800-328-7447

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  • Phil VeerkampJuly 17, 2013 - 12:40 pm

    Kirk, the USBR has only recently made it possible to tap White Rock.

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  • Kirk MacKenzieJuly 17, 2013 - 2:03 pm

    So EID over delivered water to EDH without even having the source for the promised water identified. More argument for incompetence.

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  • Phil VeerkampJuly 17, 2013 - 3:11 pm

    . . . and in case the breaker metaphor doesn't work for you, Kirk, then substitute inadequate wire size and burn.

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  • Kirk MacKenzieJuly 17, 2013 - 6:46 pm

    Actually, the Breaker Box metaphor works well for me. You say -- and I believe you -- the west county portion of the EID system is at risk. For my edification -- and perhaps our readers -- please describe that risk in terms of your Breaker Box metaphor; for extra credit, describe what EID plans to do to do about it.

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  • Phil VeerkampJuly 17, 2013 - 7:35 pm

    Kirk, given my imprecise communication skills coupled with your limited ability to comprehend what I write I suggest that you present your inquiry directly to your EID Board representative. Tell him that Phil Veerkamp says that the summertime transmission rate is maxed out. Tell him that it is your understanding that the Folsom Lake raw water pump station is subject to failure at any time. Tell him that Phil Veerkamp asserts that experienced, skilled staff is stretched too thin. Tell him that Phil Veerkamp predicts that it is just a matter of time before the "perfect storm" of pumping and transmission failures coupled with insufficient skilled, knowledgeable O&M staff produce a water emergency. Report back asap.

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  • Phil VeerkampJuly 17, 2013 - 7:39 pm

    Why is Greg Prada dangerous you ask, Kirk. Because Prada prattles bull$hit.

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  • Kirk MacKenzieJuly 18, 2013 - 8:11 am

    I never asked this question...stop fabricating statements and assigning them to me.

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  • Phil VeerkampJuly 18, 2013 - 8:59 am

    I am referring to this statement by - Kirk MacKenzie says: July 17, 2013 at 2:10 pm According to you, Mr Prada is “dangerous”. What’s your point? You now deny posting the question, "What's your point?" 1-800-328-7448

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  • Phil VeerkampJuly 17, 2013 - 7:39 pm

    "_"

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  • Kirk MacKenzieJuly 18, 2013 - 8:15 am

    Too bad, but I understand why you would want to avoid describing EID's incompetence, especially during a time when you *were* such an important part of the team. I expect if I put your assertions to EID personnel today they would respond: Phil who?

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  • Jack RousseauJuly 18, 2013 - 8:37 am

    Phil—I believe that number is 1-800-328-7448.

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  • Phil VeerkampJuly 18, 2013 - 9:01 am

    Thank you, Jack! Contacts updated

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  • Phil VeerkampJuly 18, 2013 - 9:02 am

    "_"_"

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  • Kirk MacKenzieJuly 18, 2013 - 3:32 pm

    Phil -- The simple fact is: "What's your point?" is completely different than "Why is Greg Prada dangerous"...strike one. The fact that you resort to bashing Mr Prada in response to my comment (Kirk MacKenzieJuly 17, 2013 - 12:18 pm) citing EID's incompetence and disregard for we the people of this county is strike two. The fact that you claim EID has put EDH at risk while at the same time claiming that EID is competent is strike three. You are a worthless shill for developers who want to destroy our county for quick profits. Why? Your pension? Or is it latent self loathing for personally doing so much to put EDH, EID, and this county into this mess. It doesn't matter, you are lost.

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  • Phil VeerkampJuly 18, 2013 - 5:34 pm

    forfeiture by Kirk MacKenzie - argumentum ad hominem

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  • Kirk MacKenzieJuly 19, 2013 - 2:05 pm

    Phil -- if bogus arguments are cause for forfeit, you gave up long ago with your first appeal to nonsense. You are a shill for developers. Please continue to argue for stack-n-pack (agenda 21?) developments that profit developers at the expense of we the people of this county, but you have lost all credibility with me.

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  • Phil VeerkampJuly 19, 2013 - 2:33 pm

    OH DARN! But foreward I will trudge. I will - - - Climb every mountain~~~ Search high and low~~~Follow every byway~~~Every path I know . . . even without Kirk . . . sniff, sniff . . .

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  • Phil VeerkampJuly 19, 2013 - 8:40 pm

    A parting gift for KIRK the shill MacKenzie - MD article circa January 2010 - LINK - history - a look back - How EID got to where it is now

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  • Kirk MacKenzieJuly 19, 2013 - 8:53 pm

    Phil -- they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Personally, I think it just reflects a lack of imagination. BTW, your link -- like your arguments -- is a circle jerk.

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  • Phil VeerkampJuly 19, 2013 - 9:03 pm

    Thank you, Kirk - LINK - history - a look back - How EID got to where it is now

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