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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: mtdemocrat.com/letters-to-the-editor; the Sacramento Bee Letters to the Editor: sacbee.com/2006/09/07/19629/submit-letters-to-the-editor.html; and even to the Offices of El Dorado Irrigation District Board of Directors: board firstname.lastname@example.org or by U.S. mail to El Dorado Irrigation District, Attention: Board of Directors, 2890 Mosquito Road, Placerville, CA 95667.