Friday, April 18, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Lavish raises

EDITOR:

On Feb. 25, the EID Board voted 4 to 1 (Board member Alan Day voting no) to approve pay raises of 2 percent for staff each year for the next three years. Many employees will get 5 percent step increases on top of that. Look at the increase in your water and sewer bill to see what these pay raises are costing you. Yes, your rates are up and so employees are now are getting pay hikes.

When is the last time you received a raise in your salary? This EID Board is out of touch with ratepayers and our current economic environment. Instead of lavish raises, why not give ratepayers a rate reduction?

BOB LUCA
El Dorado Hills

Letters to the Editor

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 7 comments

  • Mary Lynn CarltonFebruary 27, 2013 - 4:31 pm

    Luca’s Letter is Wrong Bob Luca’s letter is misinformed and wrong. You would think that a District Attorney’s investigator would have more interest in the facts -- especially when he’s accusing EID’s Board of being “out of touch.” As the Mountain Democrat accurately reported, on February 25 the EID Board and Employee Association agreed to implement the Public Employee Pension Reform Act five years early. As far as we know, we’re the first public agency in the region to accomplish this. It will save the District’s ratepayers $3.1 million between now and 2018, because employees will begin paying their full share of their pension contribution by the end of this year -- a permanent 4% reduction in their income. Without negotiations, EID could not have implemented this reform until 2018. As a career-long public employee himself, Mr. Luca knows full well that a public employer is required to bargain with unionized employees over wages and benefits. In this bargain, in return for the pension concessions, the current union contract was extended for three years, through 2016. The extension includes annual CPI-based cost-of-living adjustments between 0% and 2%. If inflation is zero, the COLA is zero. If inflation is 3%, 4%, 5%, or even more, the COLA is 2%. Most experts expect inflation to be significantly more than 2%. We think this deal serves our ratepayers. Mr. Luca thinks it’s “lavish.” He pads his claim with half-truths about merit increases. To begin with, half of EID’s workforce today is not even eligible for these raises. And by 2016, only 10% of employees (fewer than 25 people) will be. Finally, eligible employees are granted merit increases only if they meet or exceed job expectations and defined performance measures in their annual evaluations. Mr. Luca wants readers to think that salaries are what’s driving EID’s rates -- they aren’t. Even if every possible merit increase was earned, and inflation was at least 2% in every year, EID’s payroll would grow 3.9% in 2014, 3.2% in 2015, and 2.5% in 2016. Meanwhile, staffing has been reduced 30% and total operating expenses have dropped $4.7 million (nearly 10%) since 2008. Projected increases for operations and maintenance are limited to 2% per year going forward. The real reason EID’s rates are rising is to pay annual debt costs that will increase from $19.8 million in 2012 to $29.4 million in 2016. We incurred that debt to refurbish the facilities that provide our customers with safe, reliable drinking water and wastewater treatment, and to respond to ever more burdensome regulatory mandates handed down by the state and federal governments. These facts don’t make for a ripping Letter to the Editor, Mr. Luca, but at least they’re the truth. Mary Lynn Carlton, El Dorado Irrigation District, Director of Communications & Communitiy Relations

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Phil VeerkampFebruary 27, 2013 - 6:40 pm

    Thank you, Mary. Your letter is a welcome rebuttal to the likes of Luca and Prada. You go, girl!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Greg PradaFebruary 27, 2013 - 6:53 pm

    One has to wonder why EID ratepayers pay more than $170,000 of salary, medical benefits, pension contributions, car allowance, etc. etc annually to receive willfully distorted EID propaganda from EID Communication Director Ms. Carlton. Ms. Carlton earns her lavish keep by issuing a multitude of press releases, "newsletters" and "Meeting Our Commitments" brochures cumulatively touting more than $25 million of "savings" since Jim Abercrombie became EID General Manager in September 2009. Yet somehow despite all all these claimed "savings" EID's Board has approved 102% of water rate increases for 2010-2015. If EID were truly making all these multi-millions of "savings" ratepayers wouldn't need to pay $170,000 to Ms. Carlton to hear what a great job EID is doing. They also wouldn't be paying 102% of rate hikes while most employees are getting 7% annual pay hikes, far above the 2.5%-3% average that has been the "new normal" for the past five years throughout America. Mr. Luca's letter is 100% factually correct, his question about rate reductions is a fair one, and Ms. Carlton's claim of $3.1 million savings is bald-faced deceit.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Ernie LouisMarch 01, 2013 - 2:12 pm

    Good Letter Mary, Back in my PR days, we would both be called "Paid Mourners" I don't get EID wages and fringes, I just get the EID bill. We have a lot of work to do before we obtain Transparency and Accountability. Good luck to us all. Ernie Louis

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • billzzMarch 01, 2013 - 8:33 pm

    Why not just dig a well?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Phil VeerkampMarch 01, 2013 - 10:21 pm

    Bill, you think there's enough ground water down there for everybody? . . . . really? . . . sheesh! You’re joking. Right?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • billzzMarch 02, 2013 - 12:21 pm

    Why would I be joking? Can't one determine if there is water for a well? We moved to the Pollock Pines area in 2000, and for two years prior (coming out for the Sac Jazz Fest) went over every road (used to be a military surveyor) with a GPS enabled topographic mapping system. There were few houses for sale so looked at a lot of raw land, and all said there was water, and a few had wells already dug. I may be naive, but there are well digging firms around here, so there must be some business. It is a normal question to ask.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    News

    Goodbye LUPPU, hello LRPU

    By Chris Daley | From Page: A1

     
    Past due state taxes bring arrest

    By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1

     
    Sanford trial: Prosecution, defense rest

    By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Woman, dog back from Oso

    By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1, 6 Comments | Gallery

     
     
     
    DA candidate to remain on ballot

    By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A9

    Dog talk with Uncle Matty: Benji and the Bickersons

    By Matthew Margolis | From Page: A10

     
    CPCSD seat unfilled

    By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A14

    Lew Uhler backs Ranalli

    By News Release | From Page: A14

     
    .

    Opinion

    Something to think about: Teach your children well

    By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A6

     
    Retain Bill Schultz as Recorder-Clerk

    By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

     
    .

    Letters

    District 4 candidate

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

     
    Open meetings

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7

    Volunteers and homeless camps

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7

     
    Bicycle events and traffic control

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7

    Evacuation

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 7 Comments

     
    .

    Sports

    Jennings wins national title

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    Savannah Stephens can swing the bat

    By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A11 | Gallery

    King of the West roars into Placerville

    By Gary Thomas | From Page: A11

     
    First and goal: Bunt etiquette

    By Mike Bush | From Page: A11

    Oak Ridge suffers tough 2-1 setback

    By Mike Bush | From Page: A11

     
    Roundup: April 17, 2014

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

    .

    Prospecting

    Plantastic sale this Saturday

    By Dawn Hodson | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Spring art brightens government center

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Things to do: April 18, 2014

    By Democrat Calendar | From Page: B2

     
    Time out: A grand time at Grand China

    By Earle Camembert | From Page: B3 | Gallery

    Temple Kol Shalom hosts Passover Seder

    By News Release | From Page: B3

     
    Student art featured for Third Saturday

    By News Release | From Page: B3

    Promenade in high style

    By Historic Old Sacramento | From Page: B4

     
    Sac State Presents ‘Gypsy’

    By California State Unversity, Sacramento | From Page: B4

    Friday nights are engaging at the de Young

    By Fine Arts | From Page: B5

     
    Hats On For the Kids raises money for children

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: B6

    See what is inside the vault

    By Center For Sacramento History | From Page: B6

     
    Eggstravaganza

    By Fairytale Town | From Page: B6

    Gallery tips a hat to Dr. Seuss

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: B7

     
    Museum presents ‘Diesel Days’

    By California State Railroad Museum | From Page: B7

    Engagement: Adam Frega and Wednesday Bienusa

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

     
    Duty: Air Force Airman Brian Polk

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

    Cal Stage presents a season of challenging productions

    By California Stage | From Page: B8

     
    Duty: Army Pfc. Kyle W. Beasy

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

    KVIE calls for artists

    By Kvie | From Page: B9

     
    A Couple of Blaguards tell tales

    By Harris Center for the Arts | From Page: B9

    America’s ClayFest II celebrates a rich history

    By Blue Line Arts | From Page: B14

     
    Fine Arts Museums feature two shows

    By Fine Arts | From Page: B15

    See wildflowers on train ride

    By Railtown | From Page: B15

     
    Easter at Northstar is family friendly

    By Northstar California | From Page: B15

    .

    Essentials

    Crime Log: March 28-30

    By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Frederick Wilbur Heymann

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

     
    Arthur W. Cornell

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

    Frank “Bud” Kraus Jr.

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

     
    Roy Cluness Chaix

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

    .

    Real Estate

    Faster sales with spring staging

    By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

     
    Coldwell Banker outsells the competition

    Press Release | From Page: HS7

    Handsome Redmond suits modern families

    Press Release | From Page: HS11

     
    Growing your own

    By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS14

     
    Fraud workshop scheduled

    Press Release | From Page: HS21

    HCD launches assistance program

    Press Release | From Page: HS22, 1 Comment

     
    EZ Mortgages Inc. opens Placerville office

    By News Release | From Page: HS22, 1 Comment

    .

    Comics

    TV Listings

    By Contributor | From Page: A13

     
    Sudoku

    By Contributor | From Page: A13

    Speed Bump

    By Contributor | From Page: A13

     
    Working It Out

    By Contributor | From Page: A13

    Shoe

    By Contributor | From Page: A13

     
    Rubes

    By Contributor | From Page: A13

    Tundra

    By Contributor | From Page: A13

     
    .

    Home Source

    Faster sales with spring staging

    By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

    Coldwell Banker outsells the competition

    Press Release | From Page: HS7

    Handsome Redmond suits modern families

    Press Release | From Page: HS11

    Growing your own

    By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS14

    Fraud workshop scheduled

    Press Release | From Page: HS21

    HCD launches assistance program

    Press Release | From Page: HS22, 1 Comment

    EZ Mortgages Inc. opens Placerville office

    By News Release | From Page: HS22, 1 Comment