What's Wrong with FIXEID

What's new in what's wrong is that an EID detractor seriously libelled Paul Raveling in mid-July, 2013. The root page for review of this is "Libel by EID  Candidate Greg Prada"

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.


Actual utility costsActual EID costsSpreadsheets
containing
actual data:

Utility Costs:  EID, PGE, ComcastEID Costs:  Water, Wastewater, Total



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:
  • Research
  • Analysis
  • Citizenship
FIXEID distortions, misrepresentations, and falsehoods are obvious to those with full knowledge of EID business, but not obvious to most members of the public. This is because FIXEID uses a quantity of research that should be adequate, but it lacks valid understanding of research findings. Instead it substitutes stubbornly held prejudices. This is perpetuated in part by FIXEID members' refusal to communicate with others who they perceive as not agreeing with them.

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:


Notable at-a-glance graphs & charts, see FIXEID Check #003 & FIXEID_check_010 for notes
Utility costs as percent of houshold budgetCost comparison of utilitiesCIP reduction of $302 million
Read with caution
if you visit fixeid.org

FIXEID signs
Other web pages in the section on What's wrong with FIXEID

EID by the Numbers:
The economic truth about changes under new management since 2007


This is the numeric top-level summary of changes since the term of Ane Deister as General Manager, which ended 12/31/2007. In calendar year 2008 used the CIP and Operating budgets which were set in 2007, making 2009 the first year under budgets proposed by a new General Manager. 2008 is the base year for this table's evaluation of changes. 

Capital Improvement budget data cover 4 years under the new management (2009-2012), actual expense and revenue data are available for 2 years (2009-2010). An additional year expense and revenue data will become available when EID's 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report is published. Except for the 5-year CIP numbers, all dollar citations are per year.

Entries with gray background are economic factors not subject to control by EID.
MetricChange in dollarsChange in percentNotes
Budget for 5-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP)$302 million
decrease
78%
decrease
2012-2016 CIP total budget is 22% of the 2008-2012 CIP total.
Operating costs$5 million
decrease
11%
decrease
 
Revenue: Capital Contributions$17 million
decrease
92%
decrease
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
decrease
12%
decrease
Local property values dropped by nearly 50% from 2008 to 2010.
Operating revenues$5.4 million
increase
13%
increase
$3.1 million came from increased hydroelectric revenues, $2.3 million from the 2010 rate increase.
Staff sizedecreased by
79 employees
26%
decrease
Additional cuts since 2010 produce a 30% cut in staff size as of early 2012.



Review of FIXEID published assertions

FIXEID has made between 200 and 300 assertions. Even 1-sentence claims usually require research, then additional time to document the findings. This list grew continue growing, probably at a rate of one or two assertions per week.  A few of the more significant FIXEID claims will be selected specially among the first 10-20 assertions. Otherwise the FIXEID assertions to check are chosen more or less randomly.

Assertion Validity Link to detailed discussion
Proposition 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 pageBiased,
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 misleadingFIXEID 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."
Factually False
and biased
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."
Factually False,
analytically
invalid
FIXEID Check #005:
Claimed decrease in agriculture rates
Claimed ongoing deficit of $15 million per yearFactually False,
analytically
invalid
FIXEID Check #006:
Claimed deficit
Claimed refusal to
  • "tell the truth"
  • cut spending
Both claims are made with regard to the Capital Improvement Program (CIP)
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 hoax...
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 ignoresA 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
[Due to EID rate increases in 2013, 2014, and 2015] "EID water that cost the average residential ratepayer $401 annually in March 2010 (for .60 acre feet usage*), becomes water that will cost that same ratepayer $810 annually in January 2015… a “whopping” 102 percent increase."

This is a new section on sierrafoot.org, with first content created on February 29, 2012. It is being expanded gradually, adding checks of facts and analytical conclusions published on the FIXEID  web site, fixeid.org. 

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