ONE MINUTE NEWS
The Mountain Democrat ran an article I wrote entitled "Water diet in your terms". Click here or see the print edition on page A5, Letters to Editor. The article will explain how to calculate the impact that the state's proposal (below) will have on you and your family.
Bottom line: The state (CA) is considering “reducing [limiting] water use to 55 gallons per day per person for inside use and allowing the same for outside use” for a total of 110 gallons per day per person. According to EID's director Dr. Dale Coco "During the drought, EID customers were using about 180 gallons of water per person per day. That’s when people were being very conscious of their water use and their lawns were dying." Get ready for a further 61% reduction in water use (180 to 110 gallons per day per person) on top of the +24% that you conserved last year "if" the state has their way. Unfortunately, Dr. Coco has done little to curb the State's grab for our water, contrary to his claims...
Since EID's capital expenditures and expenses continue to rise, those expenses will have to be spread over less water sales. That means more rate increases... probably big rate increases. Director Raffety predicted "if the state took 40 percent of the district’s water, the effect would be horrific." Please let your EID board representative know how you feel. Click here for EID's board directory and contact information.
Endorsement: "Yes" on Anzini. "No" on Coco.
Rarely do I endorse an EID Board candidate. But, this year I am endorsing Lori Anzini for EID's Board of Directors in Division 4 (i.e. Cameron Park, Shingle Springs, and parts of El Dorado Hills). Darin Freitas said it best when he wrote “Did anybody else have a heart attack when they opened their water bill? … our bill was $446.” Let me explain why this is happening and why I am endorsing Lori Anzini over Dr. Dale Coco.
Prior to Dr. Dale Coco’s election to EID’s Board of Directors in late 2013, he pledged “…there will be no [EID] pay raises and no increase in benefits in the face of rate increases. If you’re getting a rate increase, no employee or manager is going to get a raise or increase in benefits based on your back...” Click here and skim to minutes 4:05-4:30 to view Coco’s pre-election campaign pledge.
Once elected, Director Coco initiated a motion to give pay and equity raises to EID’s top two executives totaling about $298,000 and $277,000, respectively. Click here and skim down to Agenda Item 20, page 10. Notice the words “merit increases” and “equity increases” in Coco’s motion. The “Ayes” were Directors Coco, Osborne and George. The “Noes” were Directors Prada and Day. Coco was the deciding 3-2 vote. Click here for more information.
Then, within months of giving these large merit and equity raises to the executives, Director Coco seconded Director Osborne's motion to raise water rates 5%, 5%, 4%, 4% and 3% (> 20% cumulative) and to raise wastewater (sewer) rates 0%, 5%, 4%, 3% and 3% (> 15% cumulative) each year, respectively, for 5 years. Click here and skim down to Agenda Item 6, page 6. See substitute motion by Osborne. The “Ayes” were Directors Coco, Osborne and George. The “Noes” were Directors Prada and Day. Director Coco was the deciding 3-2 vote.
The execs got raises. We got rate increases. Pretty simple…
While Director Coco gives lip service to reducing expenditures, claiming he’ll pursue “Chevy- vs Mercedes-style solutions”, his voting record shows otherwise. Coco has become one of the largest “swing vote” spenders in EID’s history approving almost every project that comes up. A recent example of this includes approving a $25.1 million Mercedes-style expansion (i.e. raising) of the Forebay Dam more than required, incurring a $6 million cost overrun before the project had started. Even EID’s own staff recommended against proceeding until they could get additional bids. Click here and see Agenda Item 12, page 7. Add in $10M-$12M more to unnecessarily pipe the historic El Dorado Canal and the costs to us (i.e. ratepayers) becomes staggering. The “Ayes” on both projects were Directors Coco, Osborne and Raffety. The “Noes” were Directors Prada and Day. Director Coco was the deciding 3-2 vote in both instances.
Are you beginning to see a pattern? Coco is the "swing vote" and always sides with big money...
While Director Coco will surely claim that this is just another hatchet job on him filled with lies, the truths above are well documented in EID’s own Board Minutes and Coco’s pre-election campaign video. Joanne McGuire clicked on the URLs above and wrote “Craig’s sources seem to be well documented and a matter of record.” Give them a look. What do you see?
Irrespective of whether Coco voted for one, two, or more rate increases, he also voted to fund large pay and equity increases for the executives in direct opposition to his pre-election pledge, while continuing to vote for Mercedes-style solutions at every turn. It’s no wonder that EID’s customers are feeling the pinch.
In a previous post, I promised to investigate who funded Dr. Coco’s prior election campaign. California Form 460 shows that Coco received over $60,000 in total campaign contributions (i.e. about 10 times the norm) from the likes of Parker Development (i.e. Serrano builder), McNally Temple Association (i.e. political consultants), Sierra Pacific Industries (i.e. lumber for building), EDC Farming, Business, and Home Builders (i.e. builders), etc. Any guesses who’s funding his campaign this year?
BTW – In all fairness to Director Coco, this year he voted for a zero (0%) percent rate increase. Any guesses why? Answer: It’s an election year. If re-elected, don't be surprised to see your water, sewer and recycled water rates go up again on a 3-2 vote. Thanks to campaign promise betrayals from EID Board incumbent Dr. Dale Coco, it’s no wonder why EID’s water and sewer rates are so high. Even his own party has not endorsed him for reelection this year. Humm…
This year I would like to suggest that you consider voting for Coco’s opponent, Lori Anzini. She seems to have a very good background in water, approaches decisions from a common sense perspective, and seems to be a no nonsense person. Plus, it might be good to have a women’s perspective on EID’s typically male-dominated Board. Lori Anzini’s web site is https://www.anzini4eid.com or you may click here if you are interested in reading more about Lori.
Craig A. Schmidt
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Endorsements of Craig Schmidt
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