What's Wrong with FIXEID
Are EID costs an exceptional and rapidly growing burden, or are its critics just playing a game of "Ain't it Awful?"?
Here's bottom-line data at a glance, 2 years of actual billing results for a sample residential customer in El Dorado Hills. Click on either thumbnail graph below to see a large rendition.
FIXEID is the web site dedicated to criticism of the El Dorado Irrigation District (EID). FIXEID has demonstrated massive failures in the three disciplines most essential to public advocacy:
This section of sierrafoot.org is now accumulating reviews of FIXEID's roughly 300 various assertions of failure in EID. To date ALL such assertions that I have checked have been either totally or partially wrong. It should not be surprising that a public agency is more competent at its own business than is a small outside group of self-appointed advocates.
Reference documents, see:
Read with caution
if you visit fixeid.org
|Metric||Change in dollars||Change in percent||Notes|
|Budget for 5-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP)||$302 million|
|2012-2016 CIP total budget is 22% of the 2008-2012 CIP total.|
|Operating costs||$5 million|
|Revenue: Capital Contributions||$17 million|
|Developer charges and FCCs (new hookup charges) peaked at $47 million in 2004. This revenue dropped to near-zero as development slowed and almost completely stopped.|
|Revenue: Property taxes||$1.3 million|
|Local property values dropped by nearly 50% from 2008 to 2010.|
|Operating revenues||$5.4 million|
|$3.1 million came from increased hydroelectric revenues, $2.3 million from the 2010 rate increase.|
|Staff size||decreased by|
|Additional cuts since 2010 produce a 30% cut in staff size as of early 2012.|
|Assertion||Validity||Link to detailed discussion|
218 specificity requirement:
"But to comply with the HJTA vs. City of Roseville ruling (Click Here), EID needs to scrutinize each sub-category of its $40 million of debt and overhead costs and be specific as to how much of each and every sub-category belongs to water customer rates and how much belongs to sewer customer rates."
|Factually False||FIXEID Check #001: Prop 218 Specificity requirement|
|Election innuendo regarding developer funding and related content in one web page||Biased,|
no evidence presented
|FIXEID Check #002: Election innuendo|
|No explicit assertion: Omissions of scope and perspective manifest through what FIXEID does NOT say. Example: Rate complaints ignoring analytical context.||Variously biased and misleading||FIXEID Check #003: Incomplete scope and perspective|
|COS Study, strange rate change percentages:|
"What a difference a day makes... 5% or 32%... or 64%???
EID's GM claimed Residential water rates would increase 5% in 2012. However, the June 13, 2011 Cost of Services Presentation shows increases of 32% in 2012 and 64% cumulative in 2014."
|FIXEID Check #004: COS Study, strange rate percentages|
|Claimed decrease in agricultural rates:|
"In stark contrast to the huge increase in residential water rates, EID’s proposed new rates for Large Agriculture customers (see pages 4 and 6 of the Notice) reveal that most Agriculture customer bills will DECREASE more than 20% from 2011 rates. For all usage over 4500cf, EID’s proposed new rates for Agriculture will be just 6% of residential rates… a seventeen-fold difference."
|FIXEID Check #005:|
Claimed decrease in agriculture rates
|Claimed ongoing deficit of $15 million per year||Factually False,|
|FIXEID Check #006:|
|Claimed refusal to||Claim 1 is factually false and wrongfully derogatory|
Claim 2 is factually false and analytically invalid
|FIXEID Check #007:|
Claim that EID lies and refuses to cut spending
|'EID's "60-40" cost study a
EID’s Rate Consultant says "I am not a (Prop 218) lawyer",
"I do what Jim (Abercrombie) tells me", "Garbage-in, garbage-out". '
|Hoax claim is factually false|
Personal slurs are unwarranted and wrongfully defamatory
|FIXEID Check #008:|
Claims of hoax, slurs against individuals
|The customer cost reduction through property taxes that FIXEID ignores||A FIXEID claim is biased by omission of facts and consequently is partially falsified||FIXEID Check #009:|
Customer cost reduction ignored
|Claim that "EID's spending is out of control and getting worse"||Factually False to an extreme degree:|
CIP spending has decreased by $302 million per 5-year plan.
Annual operating expenses have decreased by $5 million.
|FIXEID Check #010:|
Claim of spending out of control, getting worse
From the March 21 edition of El Dorado Hills Village Life, based in part on FIXEID advocacy:
"The four-year rate package, in combination with three years of increases approved in 2010, would more than double water rates from 2010 to 2015 for typical El Dorado County water customers."
|Generally false for two reasons.|
Misleading with respect to customer costs due to omission of coincident watestwater rate changes.
Percentage change cited is true only for customers with exceptionally low water usage (no landscape irrigation)
Biased by reference to costs from past rate changes as a metric for evaluating future rate changes.
|FIXEID Check #011:|
Will water rates more than double?
|"Meanwhile, EID’s General Counsel failed to attend even one of the ten lengthy cost of service panel meetings conducted over ten months, all of which were conducted behind closed doors, without publicly pre-disclosed agendas or published minutes,
and hidden away from the “prying eyes” of the public. Whatever happened
to EID's much ballyhooed claims of transparency and for that matter,
whatever happened to the Brown Act?"||This set of claims asserts non-existent requirements. It ignores detailed open disclosure through board meetings and the corresponding openly published board packets.||FIXEID Check #012:|
Cost Of Services Adwisory Committee Business Conduct
|"In December, EID announced a “flat” budget for $42.8 million had been passed for 2011 operations. Yet 2010 actual spending was $39.1 million plus $0.4 million of increased credits. So the “flat” budget reported on EID’s website and in the Press was really a $4.1 million increased gross spending budget…a 10% “de facto” spending increase…hardly “flat”, and certainly “tone deaf” to the budget slashing by our County, State and federal governments."||This citation contains four claims which are wrong. Two claims are especially deviant from reality:|
Operational cost savings in one year are a budget increase in the next year.
The operating budget is increasing.
|FIXEID Check #013:|
Claim that 2011 budget was not flat
|"Placerville uses 4.4% of EID's water, but pays 1.9% of Water rate revenue. (An additional interesting comparison is that Placerville pays 1.0% ($423,000) of EID's total $42.7 million rate revenues, yet its 10,500 population counts as 9% of EID's approximate 115,000 population for redistricting.)"||Both claims are analytically invalid.|
Placerville is an EID wholesale water account. The City, not EID, maintains its 45 miles of water mains, meters, and customer billing.
Placerville provides its own wastewater service. Comparing EID's overall water plus wastewater service to Placerville's water-only wholesale service is invalid.
|FIXEID Check #014:|
Two claims that EID subsidizes Placerville