Wednesday, April 23, 2014

More irresponsible action of EID


Unless you read the Sacramento Bee on Monday, Dec 10 you would not have known, but while you were drinking your coffee, eating your breakfast or trying to figure out how you’re going to pay your bills, the Board of El Dorado Irrigation District was holding a meeting to consider giving two of its top executives large pay raises, in which they did by a 4-1 vote. EID’s General Manager James Abercrombie will receive (effective immediately) a 5 percent pay raise and another 1 percent on Jan. 1. His current pay, $165,000 will increase by $9,983 to $174,983 and General Counsel Thomas Compton received a 3.8 percent increase also effective immediately, and will also receive another 1 percent on Jan. 1. Mr. Cumpston’s current pay of $160,360 will increase by $7,809 to $168,169. This is not to mention the very generous benefit packages they receive.

This is outrageous, irresponsible and appalling. While these people continue to try to convince the EID rate payers on what a “great bargain” we are getting with our ever-increasing water rates and with many people barely able to make their bills (if they can make their bills), high unemployment, people losing their benefits, having their hours reduced and even loosing their homes. Is the Board of EID so far removed from reality that they do not know that we are in a recession?
This is not at all unlike what is going on in Washington, D.C., Wall Street, and even in the California State Capitol, where the “higher ups” keep getting higher and higher pay and benefits while the middle class and lower pay the bill by taxes or in this case ever-increasing rates.

To add fuel to the fire, EID rate payers had rates increased by 5 percent in January, another 6 percent in April and can expect an 11 percent rate increase beginning on Jan. 1, as well as increases every year until 2015. Not only will water rates increase, it is in spite of the 1/4 percent sales tax that was voted in earlier this year to help reduce water/sewer rates. Rate payers have already endured two wastewater rate increases this year and can expect another 5 percent increase beginning in January. Happy New Year! Sewer rates are expected to increase 70 percent over the next six years as well.

Mr Abercrombie, Mr. Cumpston, you are pathetic and greedy for excepting these pay raises, especially during these hard times and constant rate increases. To the four Board members who voted yes on these pay increases you are also pathetic, irresponsible, and out of touch with reality. I think it is time for a new Board at EID as well as a new general manager and general counsel.

I encourage all EID water and sewer rate payers (including city water/sewer) to write a letter or letters of disgust to the Mountain Democrat Letters to the Editor:; the Sacramento Bee Letters to the Editor:; and even to the Offices of El Dorado Irrigation District Board of Directors: board or by U.S. mail to El Dorado Irrigation District, Attention: Board of Directors, 2890 Mosquito Road, Placerville, CA 95667.


Letters to the Editor


Discussion | 39 comments

  • wiser words never spokenDecember 11, 2012 - 4:44 pm

    " is time for a new Board at EID as well as a new general manager and general counsel."

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  • cookie65December 12, 2012 - 6:41 am

    The public trough the only place where people can vote themselves pay raises. The rich are not the reason this state is $600 billion in debt.

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  • James SmithDecember 12, 2012 - 7:48 am

    You're seeing how the Amador bureaucrats have infiltrated our local government are rewarding themselves for poor performance. These top local bureaucrats are living in Fantasy Land with their phony budgets and financial predictions defy logic and rob Peter to Pay Paul. They borrow, borrow, borrow and then propose a bond measure down the road to bail themselves out. They are sending a poor message to rate payers and citizens. I know Senior Citizens that are having to choose between eating and paying their water and sewer bills while these fat cats are increasing their paychecks. Look at Kerr, another former Amador employee appointing herself to the new EDC Community Development Czar job last week with no qualifications and giving herself a 5% raise. Water and Sewer rates have Skyrocketed to pay for EID Pork and fancy buildings. It's time to Throw the Amador Bums Out!

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  • SparkyDecember 12, 2012 - 8:36 am

    The change looked like reshuffling of the total compensation package with less benefits and a lessor percentage increase resulting in an overall reduction of cost to EID. So the real questions are: whether EID's compensation structure is comparable to other districts of similar size to the north and south in the foothills? What is the cost of recruiting replacements for the top two positions? What is the likely compensation to secure competent replacements? Anybody can grab raw data and shout from the rooftops, however was there analysis and marketable justification of the increases to go along with the job performance? Just trying to move past emotion and understand how the increase was qualified....

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  • NancyDecember 12, 2012 - 9:39 am

    Sparky, is your real name Abercrombie? The fact is our rates are too high and going higher. How many Americans in this country work at jobs that have NO compensation package? As a citizen of this county I am tired of so called executives like this padding their pockets with the hard earned money of the rate payers. In my opinion, if Abercrombie can't manage to live on $165K a year then he has no business running EID. In fact, why don't we rate payers vote for a much more reasonable salary for Mr. Abercrombie? How does $100,000 a year sound?

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  • SparketteDecember 12, 2012 - 9:44 am

    Good question, Nancy. Sparky's postings always sound a bit self-serving. The reason hadn't previously occurred to me.

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  • 1036-FrankDecember 12, 2012 - 10:16 am

    Theses salaries and rates should be scaled back, it is an old idea in this county to have the taxpayers duped by quiet if not secret back-room raises along with their back room deals to further promote people for unjustified higher pay and created positions is back and then to forget to check their background and qualifications is another old practice. These clowns at EID will continue these actions until voted out and replaced with people who know what it is like to pay these ever higher bills to EID for their "Management Costs".

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  • cookie65December 12, 2012 - 12:39 pm

    Sparky, the competent replacements argument is the same we get from the professional politicians. As if a lifetime at the public treasury gives them unmatched qualifications. It seems to me that anyone who understands that water runs downhill is a competent replacement for the EID board. And most would work twice as hard for half the money.

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  • Jim RiordanDecember 12, 2012 - 1:16 pm

    All of these highly paid people at EID should have to face "bidders" who have equal skillsets (that should not be difficult to find) and lowest bidder gets the job. This never ending "roundy-round" salary comparison with other counties for "similar" bureaucratic jobs is pure BS. It is nothing but a continuing, unjustified, upward spiral. There are plenty of people who could meet the needs of these jobs at probably 1/2 to 2/3 of these bloated salaries, and they would be darn glad to have the job. On behalf of all the seniors who are struggling to pay their water and sewer bills I say throw all those overpaid bums out and put all the jobs up for bid. The present system, in my opinion is pure theft. Say, speaking of pure theft, I personally believe it is pure theft to tie the EID "sewer usage" fees to water coming through their meters into our property, all year long, when a large portion of it, during all summer months, is used for irrigation. Essentially, we are putting a great deal of OUR water back into their water table from which they are drawing the water. I believe we should DEMAND to have an EID estimator, come to our homes and estimate how much summer water usage goes to sustain our landscaping and in turn is being put back in the ground. This water is definitely NOT being put into their damn sewer systems and we should not pay for it. That thieving concept of tying ALL water usage to sewer fees makes me fume. One simple way of accomplishing this is to base sewer rates on the WINTER/ wet weather season usage. And that should be a standard usage fee, all year round. It is truly time to throw all the, in my opinion, thieving bums out and start over.

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  • sparksDecember 12, 2012 - 1:41 pm

    Didn't realize that the GM came from Amador County. Makes sense now as to why the GM hires a catering company from Amador County for board meetings. Why don't they use El Dorado County businesses or why don't the board members bring a sack lunch and save the rate payers?

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  • SparketteDecember 12, 2012 - 1:48 pm

    sparks, tell us you're joking about the catering for BOS.

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  • part time abercrombieDecember 12, 2012 - 3:11 pm

    Abercrombie gets 55 paid days off annually---one day off for each 4 days worked. How many heads of for-profit businesses can take even one-third of this? $175,000 salary plus $100,000 of benefits for a part time job isn't shabby---especially when you consider that its in non-urban, lower cost of living/high unemployment rate Placerville.

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 12, 2012 - 5:47 pm

    Jim Riordan, says, “I believe we should DEMAND to have an EID estimator, come to our homes and estimate how much summer water usage goes to sustain our landscaping and in turn is being put back in the ground.” Jim, That would be a waste. What you are suggesting is already being done by basing sewer rates on winter water consumption. NOTICE TO ALL YOU IDIOTS WHO IRRIGATE IN THE WINTER . . . . TURN OFF YOUR GDAMNED LANDSCAPE IRRIGATION! Take extreme action to minimize your winter water usage. Your sewer bill is based on WINTER USAGE.

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  • david coleDecember 12, 2012 - 6:53 pm

    Wouldn't we all like to vote our own pay raises. "We the people" have provided our county government and EID new centers to run our infrastructure , but unfortunately those running these institutions have forgotten who elects them and whose interests they are suppose to protect.We had better start questioning the motives of the people we elect to city and county offices. Lets work at making this area unique and affordable for its residents, and not an arena for special interests and developers to exploit our heritage and character for their own reward.

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  • James E.December 12, 2012 - 7:28 pm

    Phil, in the Winter I let nature water my yard.

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  • JohnDecember 12, 2012 - 8:18 pm

    Not too long ago, we had an election of EID Board members. If memory serves, the same good ol' boys who've run EID into near-bankruptcy, all of them stalwarts of the local GOP, were re-elected. So what's the complaining about?

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 12, 2012 - 8:20 pm

    EVERETTE JEFFERSON, may I direct your attention to the REAL rate increase drivers - LINK - Parker unveils plans - Marble Valley, Serrano Westside, Pedregal and Lime Rock projects included

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  • DB SmithDecember 12, 2012 - 8:31 pm

    Phil, I hear your passion and knowledge in this subject. It interests me. In the long term it would seem to make sense to utilize gravity at near all costs. Doesn't make sense to send water all the way to Folsom and then pump it back up the hill. Eliminate as much pumping (electrical, maintenance, etc..) as possible. Charge those that need the water appropriately.

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  • Sue TaylorDecember 12, 2012 - 11:20 pm

    Managing EID or the County has become more about whom will create the best deals for developers on the back of the rate/tax payer than about being fiscally responsible to the public. The majority elect the same people over and over again who appoint these people. John's right.

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  • NancyDecember 13, 2012 - 2:29 am

    I say let us recall these overpaid, over compensated yahoos. I don't care whether they are GOP or otherwise. Recall them.

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  • RichardDecember 13, 2012 - 8:17 am

    Who oversees EID...El Dorado County Water Agency wants to be known as the trusted, county-wide leader on water-resource issues, representing the long-term interest of our community, purveyors and residents through a dedicated team of professionals, responsive, accountable to the public we serve and supplying cushy jobs to our loyal friends. Our trusted board members are; Ron Briggs, Jack Sweeney, Ray Nutting, R. Englefield. Our Objectives and Goals: Develop organizational chart and job descriptions that support the, Maximize use of internal talent. Define current benefits and compensation. Maintain level of compensation and benefits that retains a skilled and productive workforce The El Dorado County Water Agency Strategic Plan

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  • Jim RiordanDecember 13, 2012 - 10:32 am

    Thanks Phil, I was unaware that using the winter usage was already being done. I will verify that. Frankly I turn off all my irrigation systems as soon as the rainy season starts. I am not trying to nitpick on pennies, thankfully I don't have to. But I sure feel the pain of all of those who do and I am sick and tired of hearing about how much these, in my opinion, pigs are sucking out of the taxpayers. I would be very interested in how close their "winter rates" are to reality. Here is a letter I wrote to EID in 2008, which was accompanied by a photo of my purwater system guy holding a BLACK one year old filter in one hand and and a pure white new filter in thew other hand. I could not paste it in here but I guarantee you that you would find it repulsive. If we did not have an expensive purification system we would have been drinking "sludge" for a year. So much for "getting what you pay for. Here is the 2008 letter: To: Clerk to the Board, El Dorado Irrigation District 2890 Mosquito Road Placerville, CA 95667 Dear Clerk, Thank you for your letter of January 22, 2008 regarding a proposed additional surcharge on our EID bill. I respectfully decline your generous offer to charge me more in return for no additional services to me. I understand from your letter that at least part of the surcharge funds would be used to “fund legally mandated increases in personnel expenses” and is therefore “justified” in the “district’s judgment.” Well, In my “judgment” you should simply lay off the persons creating the “mandated increases in personnel expenses.” After all, the housing slump will certainly require less personnel than any projections would have proposed. Further, I still have not forgiven you for your outrageous, decision to base our sewer fees on the amount of water delivered to our residential property through our meters. In my particular case, since there are only two of us living here and in summer perhaps 60% of the water delivered through the meter goes right back into landscaping and NOT down your sewer, It certainly seems as though I should be charging you for replenishing ground water and it certainly seems as though your method of charging for sewer fees should be illegal at best. So basically, I am not your friend. I am against and hereby protest any surcharge whatsoever. Sincerely, Jim Riordan P.S., In addition I resent your statements about the great quality of water you provide. Below please find a couple of photos of my under sink water filters which look the same way every time I change them. I could easily make “mud pies” from scraping these filters. Each time I have complained to EID about this all I get are BS statements about the great quality of the water . . . . so who is lying . . . you or these filters????? After scraping the left filter, I placed the icky goo on a paper towel. If the filter had not trapped it, we would be drinking it. Scroll down to see what came off:( sorry could not paste photos but I still have them!)

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  • EvelynDecember 13, 2012 - 4:19 pm

    Jim: And here I've been thinking my drinking water was pristine clean. Any chance you could upload those black 'n gooey filter photos of yours to an online album and then post a link so that we can have a look?

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  • EldoradoDecember 13, 2012 - 7:23 pm

    Tax and tax, spend and spend, elect and elect; the people are too damn dumb to understand." Harry Hopkins, adviser to and Secretary of Commerce under FDR. The board at EID doesn't care about what is going on. They got re-elected on false promises. Toss them all out..

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  • Everette JeffersonDecember 14, 2012 - 4:16 am

    I encourage all of you who have left comments to please submit them to the Letters to the the Mt Democrat, Everyone that reads the paper should see these.

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  • Ira TatetedDecember 14, 2012 - 5:04 am

    With EIDs board pushing the limits with El Dorado County Rate Payers, its no wonder they decided on a new more secure building and security fence!

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 14, 2012 - 5:10 am

    Mr. Riordan, The fact that your ANNUAL harvest of particulate matter from EID’s water fits on the surface of ONE FILTER is testimony to the HIGH QUALITY of the product passing through your filter system. May I remind you that while the concentrate on your filter may in fact be classified as “sludge” it is incorrect and DISHONEST to classify the ANNUAL VOLUME of water as sludge. BTW Jim, if you were to actually recover all the particulate matter from your annual harvest and if you were to make a “mud pie” from said product go ahead and feel free to nibble. A little iron supplement never hurt anybody. CAUTION: Improperly maintained filter systems are a SOURCE of contamination. Filters ACTUALLY DO FILTER and the captured particulate matter can propagate bacteria. Change filters more frequently.

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  • Placerville NativeDecember 14, 2012 - 8:22 am

    RE: JOHN, Not everyone voted them in.. many people did not vote for them, just like our current President! and they were not increasing rates at astronomical speeds while taking huge pay increases, thats why everyone in complaining about! and its our right to do so!

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  • SparkyDecember 14, 2012 - 8:32 am

    It is nice that Nancy made my argument for me regarding numbers and rooftops. And I am just an outsider looking in so no conspiracies please. Water agencies are getting the squeeze from the state, yet they still have to operate their systems with technically certified people by regulation, met the latest, greatest and ever changing standards for the CVRWQCB, fend off and/or settle litigation from self serving watchdog environmentalist groups, figure out arcane waters rights, who sold what to who and when and where they really authorized to do so, etc. My point is that everyone is mad at the wrong people. Be mad at homeland security for water coverage mandates, be mad at the state legislature that is responsible for the exploding cost of sewer because of their regulations and differed implementation, be mad at regional water board that is caprious and arbitrary, be mad at the frivolous litigation of activists because it is this sgement of the population thta is causing the rate explosion. I have to say that I have not heard anyone, anywhere in the state of California say that their water agency is doing a great job, their rates are stable and their boards member ready for sainthood. So that tells me that there is a statewide problem and the smaller, rural agencies are getting abused by the big city regulators. All politics are local, but the root causes of the issues are not. Good day...

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  • CVRWQCB =December 14, 2012 - 8:37 am

    Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board

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  • Carnac the MagnificentDecember 14, 2012 - 8:39 am

    Reckless spending, runaway rate hikes, and lying. Q: Name three things EID's GM and Board are best at?

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  • Jonnie CarsonsDecember 14, 2012 - 8:45 am

    Carnac: Do all three things involve magic?

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  • Ira TatetedDecember 14, 2012 - 9:11 am

    RE: Sparky, Its not only the state...EID has overreached its ability and made assumptions on future revenue that isn't happening because of many reasons economic situation and high hookup fees, taken large salaries along with already high benefit packages isn't helping. $49,000. in benefits alone on average per Employee and 100,000. plus for execs. in addition to their salaries. And of course some talent is needed, but when you see repairs being made to EID infrastructure and you see one or two people working and 7 standing around watching, you gotta wonder!

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 14, 2012 - 7:07 pm

    Good evening from Missouri where the water smells like H2S . . . I can hardly wate for more GOOD FRESH EID water. You people are SPOILED!!!

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  • geezerDecember 14, 2012 - 7:22 pm

    missouri wate water like h2s

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 14, 2012 - 7:32 pm

    yep! Missouri water sucks . . . .big time

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 14, 2012 - 7:42 pm

    Sparky, THANK YOU

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  • James E.December 14, 2012 - 9:19 pm

    Phil, what are you doing in Missouri? Are you on the run?

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 14, 2012 - 9:49 pm

    Yep! Tis th' season, Colonel . . . kids . . . grandkids . . . ahhh, yes . . . the blessings!

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