Wednesday, April 23, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

EID’s IT department

EDITOR:

I read with great interest about EID’s IT wanting to invest in a business reliability software program. Since 1999 EID’s IT Department has always requested big fund requests (at least $200,000 a pop each), to be more cost effective with big fancy PowerPoint presentations and technical terms to confuse the ordinary lay person. Yet each year they run into the same simple issue of not being able to track intemal assets (expensive assets) with a software program. Why just a few months ago IT staff called outer sites to ask what assets they had on hand; I would assume a software program could do that a lot more efficiently not to mention keeping a paper/electronic trail. Those assets would be PC’s, monitors, printers, servers, scanners, etc. How can those items not be tracked?

Just a few years ago a water district from Sacramento got into very hot water for the same lack of accountability. Yes they are supposed to tag each asset, but have yet to develop a simple program that tracks where assets are and when they move or shall we say disappear? That adds up to millions of dollars that simply vanish — your ratepayer money down the drain.

Furthermore the IT department is overstaffed compared to staff employee ration to IT support. Yet they always seem to attract “visionary IT directors” who are overpaid that promise they will lead to greater results, not to mention a current salary well over $1i0,000. My son is a longtime employee and informed me over dinner last week that EID pays for each and every employee’s cell bill. It appears on their paycheck stub as a “stipend,” which amounts to about $9,000 district-wide monthly, or about
$108,000 a year. And we wonder why our water bills are so high.

Better yet, the director of Facilities Management does not have a college degree but a high school diploma. This director also makes more than the new Placerville Police
chief. Explain that one Jim Abercrombie. It’s time the public demands that EID clean house and get things in sound financial order. We all know what talks and what should walk. Stand up and demand better management; it’s your bi-monthly bill that bankrolls EID’s activities.

ANNA TAYLOR
Camino

Letters to the Editor

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Discussion | 7 comments

  • Phil VeerkampOctober 23, 2013 - 6:39 pm

    Anna, it seems that your son has misinformed you with respect to your assertion, "EID pays for each and every employee’s cell bill." Perhaps you misunderstood what your son was saying. During my time at EID I and many other field employees had EID issued BlackBerrys. Virtually all Operations and Maintenance field staff had cell communication because all are subject to standby duty 24/7. In response to demands for cost cutting many of the BlackBerrys were taken away. But the requirement to respond and converse about EID operational issues during off hour and even duty hour remained. Radio communication was inadequate. Employees were being required to conduct company business on their own cell phone. So, Anna, SOME EID employees receive a cell stipend (reimbursement) in consideration of EID's use of SOME employees' personal property. ~~~ As for the high school graduate director of Facilities Management [Sic]. I know of such a person. Furthermore that person used to use a shovel and repair broken water lines, and broken/clogged sewer lines. He became proficient in heavy equipment. He became proficient in commercial driving. He became acquainted with every element of the system. He was promoted to crew leader. He was promoted to an office manager, And, yes Anna, today he is director of Facilities Management [Sic] because he knows stuff that they don't teach in college. It is likely that his IQ is superior to your son's.

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  • Oh BrotherOctober 23, 2013 - 7:28 pm

    Ms. Taylor, please have another conversation with your son and tell him to get it right this time...also, please feel free to come out with my husband for 7 days and nights when he is on call and responds promptly and courteously and remains on the job until it is completed and all is working correctly...you can come work all night with no break, in the snow, rain, wind, dark and heat depending upon the season and weather and drive from one end of the county to the other with constant calls on going...I REFUSE to have our home phone used to call customers who will have our phone number due to the technology of caller id...most customers are quite pleasant but there are the irate ones that I most definitely don't want having any of my personal information. And the fact that my husband is a very good employee who cares for the customer, people may have a tendency to call him anytime if they have our home phone or personal cell phone...my husband doesn't have a college education but he is a darn good employee and knows his job...but most importantly he cares that the customers are happy and cares for his fellow workers...he still uses a shovel so he doesn't have to be in charge of bull like this letter. There are 5 employees in IT and they do not make $110,000...if your son is retired he needs to get up to speed and be thankful for his retirement instead of bad mouthing his previous employer. And while we are at it starting Nov 1 of this year the employees will be paying all of their PERS contribution and have not had a raise in years except cost of living which is 1% and the health care contribution increases yearly and comes out the employees pay...if your son is still working at EID he needs to be thankful that he has a job. The employees who do use their personal cell phones are actually saving EID money by getting the stipend.

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 23, 2013 - 7:41 pm

    RIGHT ON!!!!

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 23, 2013 - 8:19 pm

    Oh BrotherANNA TAYLOR, may be misinformed. Greg Prada is not misinformed. Both are wrong. The rate payers are poorly served by misinformation as well as disinformation. The truth is "wounded".

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  • Oh BrotherOctober 23, 2013 - 10:18 pm

    Out of respect for my husband's job, I will keep my opinions about Mr. Prada to myself....I will say I hope people really research his constant barrage of accusations...my husband is an honorable man and employee...he doesn't lie...all is not perfect but Mr. Prada is really twisting things terribly.

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  • pvl residentOctober 25, 2013 - 8:34 am

    Anna, it sounds like you are talking about a PHYSICAL inventory which is used to reconcile their records. All businesses take inventory at some point to update their records and in many cases it is required by law. An asset tag doesn't automatically keep the inventory up to date. Someone has to update records when an item breaks or is moved or replaced or purchased and sometimes that doesn't happen regardless of how good your procedures are. And yes, items do walk out the door. Ask ANY business. An asset tag is part of an Inventory control system software which can speed the physical inventory process but it does not replace it. and fyi - I do not work for EID or know anyone who does.

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  • Ernie louisMarch 28, 2014 - 10:35 am

    With all due respedt to the retired and active employees of EID. Ratepayers obviously deserve a strong dose of Transparency and Accountability from EID. This is seldom accomplished with just a (High Paid) ineffective communications department. I also think it is time to demand ratepayer’s representation from the elected EID Board of Directors. Or at least explain the directors’ actions on the Board. The people who elected them deserve the truth. Whatever is happening at EID is what the Directors decide or whatever the management of EID can get away with. I still feel that the Board Meetings of EID should be televised. P.S. I agree with the comments regarding Prada. I remember defending Prada when referred to as a “Gadfly” in the Mountain Democrat. I’m now thinking that I was wrong. Ernie Louis

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