Letter to the Editor: Vote against rate increases
The Tahoe City Public Utility District did have the funds to replace the aging infrastructure, but fearing the State of California would grab them to satisfy its deficits they spent them elsewhere, and they have since admitted they probably made a mistake.
Establishing this burdensome rate increases at this time would also be a mistake.
First of all, the TCPUD plan is not based on need ” it is simply a wish list. We all have wish lists in our own private lives, but we prioritize needs before wants.
There are many ways in which the Tahoe City PUD can make cuts in operating expenses and thereby fund any necessary infrastructure items. They can cancel the Christmas Party and save $4,000, cancel employee flowers, cakes, cards, etc for birthdays and retirement and save over $2,000, cancel annual cpi pay raises and merit raises, cancel employee use of company vehicles (some of which sit around town with engines running while they drink coffees), lower mileage reimbursements, and initiate an across-the-board salary reduction of 20 percent. (Do you know that salaries and benefits account for 70 percent of its budget?)
I originally recommended a 10 percent cut, but in light of today’s economic problems I do believe 20 percent would be in line with other businesses and public entities across the nation.
Also, it has been discussed at the PUD that their 5-year plan could, or possibly should, be reframed as a 10-year endeavor. That certainly would ease the pain for all the ratepayers.
Nationwide people are defaulting on the utility bills (10-39 percent according to Reno Gazette), so with more foreclosures and a lower property tax base and as we conserve water and dollars, it behooves the Tahoe City PUD to take these pro-active steps now, and not later.
Each of us receiving a bill from the TCPUD, needs to send a signed letter of protest, stating the parcel number of the property or the physical address, and whether you protest the water increase or the sewer increase, or both. Fifty percent (50%) plus only one more signature will negate the proposed increases, and the TCPUD will have to go back to the drawing board, rework its budget, and be responsive to its public.
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