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El Dorado County, CA November 4, 2003 Election
Smart Voter

EID financial Black Hole

By Ray Larsen

Candidate for Board member; El Dorado Irrigation District; Division 1

This information is provided by the candidate
Bonds issued without voter approval should not be tolerated by the ratepayer
Do you want - or - can you afford to borrow one quarter of a billion dollars? This creates an average debt of approximately 7,500 dollars per EID account, without including interest, loan fees, etc. EID's board voted two nays and three yeas and has decided that this is a good thing without even asking your permission as a ratepayer. It is disturbing that your three vote board don't care about the wishes of 70% of you. Fact is, 70% of you voted yes on Measure K that required your permission to indebt you, but because of legal maneuvering, your vote does not matter. They say that asking you would be too costly, but increasing their own pay by as much as 100% did not seem too costly. Possibly, the real reason is they know you would not agree.

Another interesting thing that hs been decided is that you will pay 70% of this borrowed debt in your rates. If you are curious about what it will cost "water only" customers, you need to multiply your bill by .31 then add it to your current bill. For "sewer and water" customers, just multiply it by .23 then add that to your current bill. The plan is to spread this massive rate increase out over 4-5 years so you as a ratepayer will not revolt! Or even better not notice!

The good news is that 30% will be paid by developers. Maybe this is not such great news either. "Why are you co-signing a note for your local developers?" This plan allows the developer to only put up his money when he is ready. If the market for new development of houses bottoms out - Guess what? You pay the bill for them too! The reason for this is you borrowed the money not them and you guaranteed the payment from your rates no matter what the cost. Don't you think that developers should fromt their own money and take the risk for themselves rather than riding on the backs of the ratepayers? Another reason that the ratepayers should not take this risk is that the new connection fees are going to be 31% to 34% higher than their currently insane level. At some point, the market will quit buying because of cost and you the ratepayer will pay for all the unsold ones. Ask yourself, "why is so much money needed now?" There have been no other options for the districts current needs and future presented, which leaves most of us wondering if this plan is the best and most cost effective. Especially considering senior board members have also expressed serious concerns about the current direction, but have been largely ignored.

Other factors that are going to bite the ratepayers are $125 million in variable rate debt. Are you willing to take the gamble that interest will stay low? All the data is based on this gamble. The district also plans to pay off old loans with new one's, putting off the reality of the "black hole" a little longer.

Vote - RAY LARSEN - I will promise to crease an alternative and never vote to indebt you without your permission.

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ca/ed Created from information supplied by the candidate: October 17, 2003 13:45
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