Wednesday, April 16, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Dysfunctional board

The Georgetown Divide Public Utility District Board of Directors continues to be run by a majority of amateurs who are making Georgetown feel like a Third World country.

The state has required GDPUD to meet a higher standard of water treatment, meaning it must revamp a water plant. The plant chosen by the general manager and the board was Auburn Lake Trails Water Treatment Plant.

An engineering firm hired by the district designed a plant upgrade that was estimated to cost $9.3 million. Plans were completed in February and the board, with a newly elected member joining two others, delayed going out to bid until mid-May.

Bidders had already been prequalified in February. There is still a likelihood the bid will come in under the engineer’s estimate, but that prospect has dimmed over time. The El Dorado Irrigation District has seen bids come in higher recently from big contractors as the economy has picked up. Only months before those same bidders had been low bidders. Despite the increased competition for quality construction engineering firms, EID has still managed to attract qualified low bids under the engineer’s estimate.

At Georgetown the board, led by the gang of three, delayed and delayed and delayed going out to bid, hoping for more money. One board member tried to second guess the engineer by coming up with an $11 million estimate for the project.

Then this month, when two from the audience asked if the board had a “Plan B” if the bids were high, the three amateurs considered spending $32,000 plus time, travel and other expenses for “value engineering” to review the project that the board already unanimously let out to bid the month before.

Plan A, B and C should be a capital improvement budget funded by water rates. The district has incredibly cheap water rates. And hookup fees are $9,000 — a reasonable fee, compared to the $20,000 EID wants to charge.

What’s really dysfunctional about this board is the way it has driven every qualified person out of the district and now the gang of three is trying to manage the district from the board room, doing everything from interviewing office managers to making up organizational charts. Without consulting its interim manager one board member proposed cutting the hookup fee nearly in half. Hookup fees have to be justified and arrived at after careful study of capital improvement needs. Most districts hire an outside expert to make recommendations that have a basis in fact rather than whim.

So far all the new majority has done is drive off its longtime counsel, pay a temporary lawyer even more and run up legal bills by having the lawyer review a mishmash of policies that often duplicate what’s already on the books.

It might be asking too much if the majority of three tried to work with the other two board members, kept delivering good quality water as its goal and let the staff work to achieve that goal.

Mountain Democrat

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 4 comments

  • Phil VeerkampJune 25, 2013 - 1:49 pm

    OUCH!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Fran DuChampJune 25, 2013 - 2:55 pm

    nice article...I agree with Phil--OUCH!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Hank WhiteJune 25, 2013 - 6:19 pm

    LOL @ this author. You may want to educate yourself, whomever you are, before posting in the public. You just made a fool of yourself, which is clearly why you have left no name.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Frank Barnes, Upper Grizzly FlatsJune 27, 2013 - 5:52 am

    This is clearly a situation that needs Ray Nutting to step in - Georgetown should have someone to protect its future

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

News

 
Greenwood School being restored

By Rebecca Murphy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Cal Fire increasing staffing, hiring

By Cal Fire | From Page: B1

 
EID restricts watering days

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A1, 10 Comments

Lover’s Leap fall injures man

By Tahoe Tribune | From Page: A1

 
EDH Fire Dept. annexing Latrobe

By Noel Stack | From Page: A1, 7 Comments

Motorcycle fatality in Greenwood

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1

 
Tea Party meeting April 17

By Tea Party Patriots Of El Dorado Hills | From Page: A3, 41 Comments

 
Town Hall Meeting on Underage Drinking May 1

By El Dorado Hills Community Vision Coalition | From Page: A6

Floating body not a body

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A7

 
Old mill a goner

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A11, 6 Comments | Gallery

.

Opinion

 
My turn: A fair California flat income tax

By Mark Belden | From Page: A4

DA Pierson has been outstanding

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4, 21 Comments

 
.

Letters

A great big thanks

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

 
Murder? Suicide?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 5 Comments

‘Drive Clean’

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 3 Comments

 
Middle class getting poorer?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 37 Comments

Real estate lies

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 6 Comments

 
.

Sports

Outside with Charlie: Switch gear

By Charlie Ferris | From Page: A8

 
Ponderosa volleyball is a family affair

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A8 | Gallery

Aussie team makes visit

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: A8

 
Griz have challenging day

By Mike Bush | From Page: A8 | Gallery

Roundup: April 15, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
.

Prospecting

Runners stampede for Sugarloaf scholarships

By El Dorado County Office of Education | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
At a glance: Take aim on fun

By Mimi Escabar | From Page: B2

Men to walk a mile in her shoes

By Center For Violence-Free Relationships | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Team works to fight disease

By Placerville Kiwanis | From Page: B3

 
COOL School is accepting applications

By Rescue Union | From Page: B4

Band of Miwoks fund mission

By Shingle Springs Band Of Miwok Indians | From Page: B12

 
.

Essentials

Crime Log: March 25-27

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
Weather stats 4-15-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

.

Obituaries

Numa Edward “Ed” Roberts

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Ronald Russell Rohrer

By Contributor | From Page: A2, 2 Comments

.

Real Estate

.

Comics

Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A10

 
Flying McCoys

By Contributor | From Page: A10

Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A10

 
Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A10

Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A10

 
Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A10

New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A10

 
Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A10

Horoscope, Thursday, April 17, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A10

 
Horoscope, Wednesday, April 16, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A10

TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A10