I was quite upset last week after the meeting with the staff from the SLV Water District regarding the potential rate increase. While no one wants to see rates go up, I thought the attitude of some people in the audience to the employees and contractors of the SLVWD was really uncalled for. These people are not the enemy, nor are the board directors.
The directors are our neighbors who are doing a job with not much compensation. They will pay the same water bills that we will.
I don’t think the staff or the directors got up one day and said “let’s aggravate our neighbors and raise rates.” There is no personal benefit to them if the rates go up. They are trying to do what they think is the responsible thing.
If you’ve ever had your water controlled by a private company like Cal Am, you’d notice the difference. With a private utility, if you want to protest a rate increase, you go up to San Francisco on a weekday, hunt for parking and get about 2 to 3 minutes to say something. The commissioners sit there reading, daydreaming or looking off into space. They don’t respond to your comments. They just want you out of there. They socialize, and even vacation, with the same people that they are suppose to regulate. Many of them have worked for the private utility companies that they’re suppose to be keeping an eye on and will go back to work for the same private companies that they are supposedly regulating. Now they have an interest in not helping to keep your rates down!
We all have the right to say we’re not happy with rate increases and give reasonable comments, but berating and accusing the staff of not being honest is not the way to go.
Alexis Krostue, Felton