Letter to the Editor: How will the PUD cut costs?
November 18, 2008
I have comments concerning My Turn columns published last week regarding fee increases at the Tahoe City Public Utility District.
More than 20 years ago, a TCPUD board member strongly advised the board to begin immediately to set money aside for the repairs and replacements that would inevitably be needed. That board did not listen. Neither has any subsequent board. They chose to spend money on things that were nice, but not necessary.
Apparently, neither the board nor management was able to grasp the necessity of saving for the future. Now the board realizes that the wise board member was right, since the “inevitably” necessary repairs and replacements are upon us and no money is available. So, in true government mode, the only way to “bail out” the board is to increase (and I do mean increase) fees.
We are all being punished for the lack of foresight, planning, and just plain common sense on the part of all these boards, since they could not have been unaware of things that needed to be done (or would soon be needed) and still they did nothing. Nothing, that is, except now to go through a year or more of planning the best way to raise the needed money.
Atchley’s letter explained in clear terms what planning has gone into the increase in fees. However, I read nothing in the letter that laid out in those same clear terms the specific things that the PUD board is going to do to tighten their belts and make the impact as painful to them as the fee increases are going to be for us.
Graham’s letter spelled out several areas where money (in some cases significant money) could be saved. I think the local PUD customers would be far less unwilling to tolerate such large increases if we knew that the PUD was going to do everything in their power to stop the outflow of money that could be better used to mitigate their plans for significant fee increases.