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El Dorado County, CA November 6, 2001 Election
Smart Voter


By Paul T. Converse, P.E.

Candidate for Board Member; El Dorado Irrigation District; Division 2

This information is provided by the candidate
EID has put its customers at risk, by forgetting that it is a public utility with a public service responsibility, and by meddling in the business of land use planning, which is the purview of El Dorado County government.
Supplying water and wastewater service is a public health and safety responsibility which transcends other considerations such as lowest cost or control of growth. Water is the universal liquid of life and part of our very being. It is the final necessity, for which man has devised no substitute. Without it we could not survive, nor could any plant, animal, or other living thing.

Current system operations are the equivalent of driving one hundred miles per hour, on bald tires, and carrying no spare. We are recklessly disregarding the inherent dangers. Water distribution systems are susceptible to failure due to fire, flood, prolonged drought, or earthquake, as well as to wearing out, breaking down, power supply failure to pumps, contamination, or terrorist acts. Try turning off your water meter for a week, and see what it does to your quality of life. Then think about all the ways that could happen to whole communities, with our limited capabilities and lack of backup capacity.

Recent closure of one valve, in a system with thousands of them, has resulted in an emergency, in terms of ability to serve the communities of Cameron Park and El Dorado Hills. That kind of vulnerability is unacceptable and unnecessary. The argument of how much Gold Hill Intertie water belongs to each of these communities is silly, since the answer is, it belongs to Gold Hill/Apple Hill, and was only loaned to the west end until planned facilities could be completed. The Board has forgotten its commitments, and left its promises unkept.

EID's current moratorium discussion is a disgrace, resulting from unaddressed distribution system needs which were well documented a dozen years ago, and from a conspicuous lack of leadership, strategic vision, and resolve at the Board level. If the multi-phased Assessment District #3 plan had been properly implemented, we would have infrastructure capable of supplying water to Cameron Park. If money to line and cover reservoirs hadn't been squandered on the Hazel Creek Tunnel, that problem would be behind us. Recent Boards have fumbled away countless opportunities.

What we have seen recently, at Board level, is a demonstration of the "Charlie Brown" theory of management, which is that "No problem is so big and tough that it can't be run away from". Its time to fix problems; not run from them.

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ca/ed Created from information supplied by the candidate: October 30, 2001 21:19
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