Wednesday, July 30, 2014


From page A5 | June 04, 2014 |


A couple of years ago I voted for Maria Capraun for a seat on the GDPUD board. Her seat gave them a majority and she promised to cut the fat and implement sound policies to run the enterprise. It was clear to me that the manager was making too much money to run such a small (but very important) operation and I wanted to give them a chance to remedy that situation since the previous board seemed unwilling to do so.

They could have tried to renegotiate the general manager’s contract but elected to run him out. I was still OK with that. It had little to do with the GM’s ability; he was simply overpaid. The problem is that it’s been a year since he left and they still haven’t hired a competent, full-time manager. They are now talking about hiring a GM without water experience that is a “bean counter;” I can assure you that this is a recipe for disaster. It is penny wise and pound foolish.

More so they have gone well beyond cutting out the fat; they are now cutting out the muscle. The only policy that I see is one of balancing the books mostly on the backs of the employees by slashing pay and benefits arbitrarily without looking at the market as a whole. As a result, the operation is rudderless and in great jeopardy. There is virtually no one left in the office and a number of the most qualified, technical personnel have left for better employment where they make more money but most importantly have sound management and direction without a board that is endlessly bickering and where some board members are allowed to micromanage the staff.

Any board that constantly votes 3-2 on every significant issue is, by definition, dysfunctional. No three people can always agree unless there is a single-minded agenda that sets aside the facts brought forth for discussion. Also, no two people can always be wrong. Even if you dislike those two people you must agree that even a blind squirrel finds an acorn now and then. To be clear, I am not calling anyone a blind squirrel, I am simply making an extreme point.

It is no longer healthy to give these three board members, that obviously can’t find solutions based on common sense and compromise, the majority with which to beat the other two senseless at every meeting. It is time to bring someone into the board that will listen to all sides and make decisions that are fair to both the ratepayers and the staff — someone that will make balanced decisions that will once again make GDPUD an organization we can all be proud of.

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