Rainbow Water’s “update” slanted

I am a RMWD water customer who received an “update” from RMWD entitled “Fallbrook PUD Files Application to Dissolve Rainbow,” in which Rainbow urges its customers to oppose the FPUD application.

In it, RMWD admits significant operating efficiencies are possible through a merger or the formation of a JPA (Joint Powers Agreement), and in fact real cost savings have been realized over the past year study period.

According to the update, the “sticking point” came when the two boards could not agree on how the new merged board would be elected.

I compared information in the update with similar data reported in a recent Village News article on this topic.

• RMWD update said operating efficiencies are possible. Village News reported RMWD’s share of savings during the one-year trial period were $800,000, equivalent to nearly $50 for each of Rainbow’s customers.

• RMWD update claims that dissolution of this proposed merger was caused because FPUD’s board is elected at large, and RMWD’s board is elected by divisions within their district, which is beneficial to the “needs and priorities of the residential and agricultural customers.”

The update doesn’t mention a compromise proposed by FPUD (also in the Village News) whereby four board members would be elected by divisions within the new district and three elected at large.

RMWD stands to save $2,000,000 each year, but chooses not to. That’s over $100 for each customer, so their petty little fiefdoms can continue.

Did you get your share of the $800,000 already saved? Me neither.

Dan Collins

16 Responses to "Rainbow Water’s “update” slanted"

  1. Lee   April 24, 2014 at 7:38 am

    Hagglin’ over money, hagglin’ over money, hagglin’ over money . . .

    Reply
  2. RtotheM   April 24, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    Your basic false assumption is that the ‘news’ article was correct and not just parroting FPUDs talking points. Your argument continues downhill from there.

    The ‘little fiefdom’ belongs to all the Rainbow ratepayers. The Board was elected by you and your neighbors to represent YOUR best interests. Instead of complaining and accusing them of half-truths, you need to get involved. Study the budget. Attend meetings. LEARN THE TRUTH! Do NOT rely on other for information.

    The majority of that $800k savings occurred PRIOR to the JPA. FPUD just wants credit for Rainbow’s hard work. And any and all savings are passed on to the ratepayers through slower increases in rates. Please don’t believe me. Study up and get involved!

    Complaining is easy (cough ***Lee*** cough). Getting involved and finding answers and solutions… That’s hard.

    Reply
  3. water is for fighting over   April 24, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    I would like to see RMWD petition LAFCO to take over FPUD. Now that would be interesting.

    Reply
  4. Lee   April 24, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    Dan Collins, thank you for your op-ed. Greatly appreciate it!

    @ #2 RtotheM

    Please just spare me your meaningless nonsense and dribble.

    I have been complaining WITHOUT offering solutions? Ha, that’s a good one. Thank you for making my day indeed. For months now, I have been SCREAMING to have a REAL democracy in which WE, THE PEOPLE make decisions DIRECTLY! Comprende? Your patronizing lecturing of folks that they should get involved, attend meetings, etc., has no merit whatsoever because that is precisely what folks HAVE done. And look where it has gotten them/us.

    Nowhere.

    So the only solution is, again, for a REAL democracy and REAL democratic measures to be implemented which we currently do NOT have. Here’s some reading for your pleasure:

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article38235.htm

    My dear fellow Fallbrookers, as along as we do not have a DIRECT democracy but democracy by representation, incidents like the current situation of RWMD will continue to plague us! It’s that simple. We must unite to make changes using legal, peaceful and nonviolent means so that this particular injustice is once and for all brought to an end!

    Reply
  5. Lee   April 24, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    PS. Anybody with me?

    Reply
  6. RMWD ratepayer   April 24, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    Why on earth would RMWD want to have ANYTHING to do with FPUD? They signed on to an agreement and then stabbed us in the back for using one of the provisions in it?

    Reply
  7. RtotheM   April 24, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    I agree that it would be interesting if Rainbow petitioned to take over FPUD. The only problem is that Rainbow doesn’t need them. FPUD would just be an anchor around Rainbow’s neck. We have enough problems with the SDCWA and MWD driving rates up. We don’t need their infrastructure problems weighing us down.

    Rainbow has a solid financial future based on past decisions to pay-as-you-go. It was rough getting here but we have better days ahead. FPUD… Not so much.

    Reply
  8. Watchdog   April 24, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    # 3 I would also like to see this bold move by rainbow board to dissolve FPUD . Rainbow is much more stable, professional, and invest in its ratepayers. Rainbow water needs to educate its ratepayers.

    Reply
  9. Seriously??   April 25, 2014 at 9:20 am

    @Lee: No.

    Reply
  10. RtotheM   April 25, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    Re: #4 – Lee, Democracy as you describe requires compromise and negotiations. Statements such as "The only solution…" have no place in a real democracy. You run a circular argument… Spiraling inward on yourself.

    To everyone else, I apologize if I sound patronizing. That is not my intent. But there is a lot of misinformation and false assumptions out in the wild. The best way to make an informed decision is to study the facts yourself. Water is a very important topic to our community. More involvement is needed.

    Reply
  11. grunt   April 25, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    @Lee- the problem with your "solution": there are 100 committees listed on the San Diego county web site. No one has time to attend them all – and even if you did, to read, research and understand the measures and proposals written on would be impossible – no one person has expertise in every area. Add to the county the regional, state and national governments, and you should be able to see why "we the people" do not vote on everything. How would you administer the voting? every day is election ay? who mans the ballot boxes, who verifies that you are a resident of the area concerned? Just spending one hour on each committee (not the measures) would take 2 1/2 working weeks – so hopefully you can see why your suggestion is not logical.

    Reply
  12. Pink   April 26, 2014 at 9:17 am

    Nice try Grunt and RtotheM, but we all know that logic and common sense arguments do not work with Lee. He believes that everyone can just vote on every issue in the state, county and federal universe, with our handy dandy cell phones. Sounds plausible, right? The problem is that our technology hasn’t yet reached the stage where that plan could even conceivably work. How would you verify who was actually using the phone? Vision control? Fingerprint match? Definately "big brother" territory here. The form of government we have has worked pretty well for over 200 years. People who care vote, people who don’t care complain. Some people are good at both. We can’t get people out to board meetings now (school, planning group, water boards, etc) unless something really controversial is happening. I think that forums like this one are good. Freedom of speech at work. Everyone have a great weekend!!

    Reply
  13. Omen   April 28, 2014 at 9:34 am

    CAN SOMEONE JUST GET THE FACTS STRAIGHT…. FPUD NEEDS RAINBOW AND THATS THAT ! DISOLVING RMWD AND (TAKING) YES (TAKING) ITS ASSETS NOW DOES THAT SOUND LIKE THEY ARE DESPERATE OR CORRUPT ? I SAY BOTH IF THIS HAPPENS RMWD RATE PAYERS WILL REGRET NOT GETTING INVOLVED

    Reply
  14. RMWD resident   April 28, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    Let’s all keep in mind that the mythical $2M ‘savings’ a consultant estimated are, like most statements consultants make, mythical. They were a guess, but Rainbow management should be applauded for making a number good faith moves to save money through attrition and other steps. For instance, they’ve decreased staff nearly 20%. That said, a great number of shared resource arrangements and savings are potentially just as available (and perhaps more so with grant and low cost financing opportunities) to RMWD alone vs in combination with FPUD. They do seem to be acting like bullies at FPUD, petitioning LAFCO to combine the districts, but I can see why they would want to try it in the hopes that the residents won’t speak up.

    Based on info presented in the Village News and U-T, In a world with additional ratepayers (from new Fallbrook developments) and ag usage that continues to decline, RMWD rates remain relatively stable. Let’s face it, if MWD raises water rates, it won’t matter which district is in charge. For my money, an independent RMWD provides more flexibility and lower risk. I would certainly sign a petition to prohibilt the FPUD-LAFCO action. 25% of RMWD residents can put the measure on the ballot, and 51% can stop it entirely.

    Reply
  15. Pink   April 29, 2014 at 10:29 am

    I am an FPUD ratepayer. My bill has gone up by about $20 more per month. I’m not sure why FPUD believes that it needs to absorb RMWD, but I have never been a fan of hostile takeovers. If the majority of the ratepayers in RMWD do not want to be part of FPUD then they shouldn’t have to. I firmly believe that a decision of this magnitude should be left up to the voters.

    Reply
  16. RMWD ratepayer   April 29, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    There was an interesting comment made by one of FPUD’s directors in the FPUD board room during yesterday’s "hearing" on the takeover. He said that Rainbow’s withdrawal from the JPA will cost FPUD A QUARTER OF A MILLION DOLLARS just for the rest of this year. RMWD’s GM and Budget and Finance Committee say that Rainbow can save as much or more alone this year than it could as part of the JPA.

    What more does anyone need to demonstrate who would have benefited from consolidation?
    Just one clue: it isn’t Rainbow ratepayers!

    Bottom line: follow the money.

    Reply

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