Craig A. Schmidt
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Schmidt for EID,
CEO and Chairman of the Board
BS/CS & MBA degrees and MS/AI credits Stanford University
Prop 218 Notice
Passing with Dignity
Pet Life Care
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EID's Runaway Rate Hikes, Reckless Spending and Rising Debt!
Sue Taylor and I would like to THANK the 9,909 folks that voted for us to change the complexion of EID’s Board of Directors in this year’s 2020 election. While we both finished in 2nd place, we are more than encouraged that many thousands of ratepayers sent a clear message to EID’s management that you are tired of EID’s runaway rate increases, reckless spending and rising debt. We would like to congratulate incumbent George Osborne and newly elected Brian Veerkamp as board directors. And, thank the outgoing Division 3 incumbent Michael Raffety for his prior service to the community.
However, just "after" the election, Michael Raffety, George Osborne, Lori Anzini and Pat Dwyer voted to raise single-family residential commodity water rates 17% next year. Only Alan Day voted "no". In addition multi-family residential and commercial landscaping will be going up 15%, recreational turf up 15%, agricultural with residence up 17%, agriculture without residence up 55% and dual-plumbed recycled water customers up 23%. Only recycled water commercial landscaping and recreational turf customers (e.g. developers) will be going DOWN 30%. Even worse, at a time when restaurants can least afford it, EID will be raising both wastewater commodity rates and water commodity rates on this class of customer.
This past year, lead by the now UNELECTED director Michael Raffety, EID's Board of Directors voted to increase EID's debt by $81 million more to $361 million. That's approximately $9,000 in debt, per family, all on the backs of ratepayers. In addition, the directors approved EID's in-house Cost of Services Analysis (COSA) clearing the way for EID to raise single-family residential water rates (commodity) 17% next year, 42% over 5 years and up to 88% for agriculture. Maybe EID's General Manager (Jim Abercrombie) can afford these increases, now at $341,000 per year in salary plus benefits (click here), but what about the person living on Social Security, minimum wage or recently unemployed?
Early next year (2021) single family residences will see water-based commodity charges (i.e. actual water use) jump 17% in 2021 from $0.015430 to $0.018061 per cubic foot. See the table below for EID's own Proposition 218 (rate increase) Notice. Do the same for any line in the table. Then, compare 2020 rates to 2025 rates. For single family residences (0 - 1,800 cf) water costs go from $0.015430 to $0.021953. That's a 42% increase from 2020 to 2025. Agriculture commodity charges could jump a whopping 55% next year and 88.5% over 5 years. Click here to see page 4 of EID's actual Proposition 218 rate increase notice (e.g. 0.001300 to 0.002015 = 55%). That's not good for El Dorado County!
EID's marketing hype states that these "modest" increases will only cost you a few dollars per year. When is a 17% increase in water rates considered "modest"? Plus, these rate increases are cumulative for 2021-2025. That really adds up. And, EID plans to increase Base Charges (i.e. the amount EID charges you for being connected to their system) up 21% from 2020 to 2025. See the table below from EID's Proposition 218 Notice: $63.53 to $77.10.
To downplay these increases, EID cleverly "blends" the 10 cent Base Charge decrease in 2021 (only) with the 17% Commodity Charge increase to arrive at an average rate increase of only 7.5% for some mythical customer. When is 7.5% considered modest let alone 17% when inflation is running 1-1.3%? EID also tries to hide behind their claimed 0% sewer rate increase for 2021 (only). As we all know, EID's sewer rates have been outlandishly high for some time. Don't be fooled by EID's hype.
What can you do about this? Not much now. But, in 2022 you can VOTE OUT the incumbents Lori Anzini (Cameron Park) and Pat Dwyer (Shingle Springs). They both voted "yes" to all of these rate increases.
BTW - Did you know that during Raffety's prior election campaign, he pledged to "Avoid adding to the debt" and to "Balance the budget without exceeding the inflation index." Click here (see Items #3 & #4). Inflation for the past 12 months was 1.3% NOT +7.5%, +17%, +42% or +90%. Click here. Plus, he added $81 million more to EID's debt, all on our backs. Clearly "Rate Raising Raffety" forgot what he pledged to all of us during his election campaign. Now he has paid the price (i.e. UNELECTED). In 2022 please consider UNELECTING both Lori Anzini and Pat Dwyer before they break our County.
Craig A. Schmidt
Putting Ratepayers First!
Paid for by the Committee to elect Craig Schmidt for EID Board 2020, FPPC #1431217
Craig A. Schmidt - Background and Qualifications
EID's water rates have risen
5 times the CPI since 2009.
Comcast TV interview of Craig Schmidt (click here)
For the past seven years I have been attending EID Board meetings as a ratepayer advocate.
My wife, Dr. Sara Nadolski, is a graduate of the University of California, Davis. She is licensed to practice veterinary medical in California, Oregon and Washington. Her caring and compassionate mobile veterinary practice (click here) has been serving El Dorado County for over 20 years. Our daughter, Anika Schmidt, is a junior at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo majoring in microbiology. During the summer months she is a river raft guide for All Outdoors in Lotus/Coloma.
I am the CEO and Chairman of the Board for an international computer software corporation. We have customers in 125+ countries. As such, I am very familiar with balancing budgets, making tough decisions and listening to diverse views. I have a bachelor’s degree in computer science (i.e. logical thinking) from California State University, Chico, a master’s degree in business (i.e. financial thinking) from San Diego State University, and master’s credits in artificial intelligence (i.e. creative thinking) from Stanford University. Click here for my business background/resume.
I became interested in water rights and water policy over 30 years ago when I happened to sit next to Antonio Villaraigosa on a flight from Southern California to Sacramento. Mr. Villaraigosa eventually became the Speaker of the House for the California State Assembly. During that flight he mentioned to me that he was concerned that water rights could eventually split California into two states. Now billions of acre-feet of water transfers later, Southern California’s lawns are green and ours are dying. Locally, EID is piping our waterways, trees are browning and rates are skyrocketing. It’s time for a change!
Craig A. Schmidt
Letters to the Editor:
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