The election results for the El Dorado Irrigation District were unequivocal. Both Dr. Dale Coco and Greg Prada won by landslide proportions.
The voters chose the two who worked the hardest for their vote. Prada walked precincts, knocking on doors, and Coco made phone calls. Both had effective signs and made favorable impressions on our editorial board.
The two winners will be sworn in and take their seats at the Dec. 9 meeting.
Prada seems well versed on the financial side of EID, but should admit that he has a lot to learn about the operational side. EID is a complex operation that includes five water treatment plants, with two of them being remote, and four wastewater treatment plants. Feeding all those are pressure reducing stations on waterlines and lift stations on sewer lines.
Both incoming directors should take a tour of the Flume 41 construction site before it snows. The flumes, canals, tunnels, a diversion dam and four alpine reservoirs supply one-third of EID’s water and generate an average of $8 million in hydroelectric revenue. During the winter this can supply water all the way to El Dorado Hills, thanks to the Cameron Park Intertie that developers paid for through an assessment district.
The water rights held by the district are equally complex and intricate.
And unlike Georgetown Divide Public Utility District, which has spent months and months reinventing the policy wheel, EID has an organized package for new directors. Included in the packet are the loyalty oath, which means one swears to uphold the Constitution, the mission statement, guiding principles, Form 700 conflict of interest statement, board policies, electronic media policy, hands-free cellular use policy, employee handbook, alcohol-free workplace training, workplace diversity training, workplace violence training, local agency ethics training (AB 1234), how to be an effective board member training, cell phone allowance and use policy, benefits that include medical, dental, vision and life insurance, and a copy of the Memorandum of Understanding with the Employees Association.
Just figuring out the conflict of interest filing and absorbing the board policies will be challenging for new board members. The figuring out the puzzle of how this district gets water to the tap and turns what goes down the toilet into near-potable water for landscaping will take a full term to fully comprehend.
The task ahead for the two new board members is to act on their campaign promises, but remain civil and work to persuade other board members, while maintaining respect for the managers and employees that make the system work and have won praise from the customers.