In less than 48 hours we all head to our polling places to choose a new governor, choose a new sherriff, and decide on the legality of marijuana. Buried in the bottom of that list of legislation is the future, and I believe the survival of the communities of Rio Linda and Elverta.
This week, the Sacramento County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo) issued a draft Municipal Service Review (MSR)Â that states the following concerns:
- The inability of the RLECWDâ€™s Board of Directors (past and present) to act in a timely manner to provide safe and adequate water supply to its customers.
- The District appears to lack organizational stability based on the turnover of General Managers during the last several years.Â However, the District has used and is using engineering consultants to provide technical assistance and oversight when needed.
- Based on comments from the CDPH, the high management turnover may have negatively impacted the Districtâ€™s ability to comply with the CDPH Compliance Orders in a timely manner.
- The financial integrity of the District appears to be questionable because there appears to be inadequate operating reserves to meet unbudgeted repairs and equipment replacement in addition to the funding that is required to construct three new wells.Â Based on the 2009 audited financial statements, the District has no general reserves.
- The Districtâ€™s rates and charges are inadequate to borrow funds to construct the required improvements to the water system as identified by the CDPH.Â The District has not yet approved a rate increase nor has it proceeded with the Proposition 218 process to obtain approval for a rate increase.
- The June 30, 2009 Audited Financial Statements also indicate that â€œthere is doubt about the Districtâ€™s ability to continue as a going concernâ€ due to operating losses and the deterioration of Working Capital.
- The District may not be able to provide adequate water pressure for fire protection without the use of standby wells and the interconnection agreement with Sacramento Suburban Water District.
- The District does not have a long term sustainable business plan that addresses the required capital improvements for distribution and transmission line replacement, and storage capacity to ensure a safe water supply.
- The District does not have a collective bargaining agreement with its employees.Â Note: the District has made its last and final best offer and is attempting to resolve this issue through the Public Employee Relations Board (PERB).
- Employee morale is low.
Due to the significant amount of capital improvements required, the financial uncertainty, the track record of unmet deadlines, management turnover, and the fact that a significant amount of work has to be done with little margin of error, there is potentially significant risk to the community.Â Based on the number of outstanding issues, the District appears to have placed itself in a very fragile situation.
This board has been the target of CDPH citations, compliance orders and grand jury investigations, all while collecting more meeting stipends than any other board in the district. What have they been doing?
Now, LAFCo has recommended that the district be reorganized, or even handed over to another water district.
If this isn’t enough for you, take a look at the meeting video. This alone should be reason enough to remove 3 current directors from office.
It’s my recommendation that the people of Rio Linda and Elverta should vote for
Vote for any three.
Harris, Suela and Paine have had their chance, and have sucked all the money they can from our community. It’s time to take it back and try to save what’s left.