Monday, April 21, 2014

Georgetown Divide Public Utility District


As President of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District, I have pondered the arguments consuming the Board recently. I have thought of a metaphor for the problem. Since most people have automobiles, car maintenance would seem to help people understand how and why spending public money is appropriate.

Changing the oil on your car, though it costs money out of pocket, can be cheaper than not. A blown engine or a new car costs much more than regular oil changes. Similarly, maintaining ditches, valves and pipes is cheaper than ignoring them.

The real expense for a utility is when a pipeline is shut off for weeks, and a contractor works overtime to repair it. It is always cheaper to do the maintenance before the pipes break. But, someone needs to plan to maintain the system to prevent expensive emergency repairs.

The current push plans to save lots of nickels, ignoring that it will cost dollars when the system fails (and, eventually it will fail). Maintenance isn’t fun, isn’t free, and isn’t exciting. It is always harder to justify saving money over the long term. Unfortunately, one can beat the drum loudly over saving nickels, but those emergency dollars always seem necessary when the system fails, because it is an emergency, and no one wants to stop to think about it. I hope petty politics will not prevent rational planning, even if maintenance nickels are necessary.


Letters to the Editor


Discussion | 3 comments

  • millions of wasted nickelsOctober 12, 2012 - 1:13 am

    How many "maintenance" or "rational planning" nickels are there in GM Hank White's $250,000 compensation package that, by itself, is 10% of GDPUD's $2.5 million of annual rates? How many nickels are in the $2 million of wasted monies for Hank White's abandoned Greenwood water treatment project? Director incumbents Ray Griffiths, Norm Krizl and Bonnie Neeley like to divert attention from their persistent financial oversight blunders and failures to look out for the wallets of GDPUD ratepayers. Director candidates Pat Snelling and Maria Capraun already have demonstrated far more knowledge and concern for financial responsibility than these three incumbents and deserve our votes for GDPUD directors.

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  • What is the purpose of this letter?October 12, 2012 - 6:25 am

    Ray, you are a poor Director and your words are just that words. This article is not your personal view. You just want to show up and collect $400 for the meeting as you have stated. You do not want the public to speak at the meetings. You agree with anything the GM says. You are just a puppet for the GM, so stop with the speeches and wasted words.

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  • Randy SchultzOctober 12, 2012 - 9:28 pm

    You're right about one thing Mr. Griffiths, if anything, those in charge of my money at GDPUD remind me EXACTLY of your stereotypical auto mechanic. Paying for something we don't need, paying for something twice and making up reasons to do things only for the benefit of their shop chasing losses. I'm not surprised you came up with such a perfect, well thought out analogy.

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