NOTE: This letter represents my personal opinion, and not that of the Foresthill PUD.

Well, in the last Messenger some negative detractors complained again about me and the FPUD Board of Directors. Haters gotta’ hate, I guess.

In a blatant distortion, one letter writer claimed that water rates will go up.

That is simply not true! I don’t know where that even comes from. FPUD rates have not changed since July of 2018. No increases are planned. The rate plan proposed last year was protested on February 25 and never went into effect.

Contrary to misinformation disseminated by protest leaders, rates would have actually GONE DOWN for more than half of FPUD’s customers under that new plan. The high-usage protest proponents led that charge because their rates would have gone up, due to their higher demands for larger amounts of water.

I have personally talked to many customers who believed the untrue claims of the protest leaders selling their door-to-door exaggerations about higher rates. Every one of them would have enjoyed lower rates if the protesters had not deceived them.

I repeat – YOUR BILL WILL NOT GO UP! Unfortunately, for half our customers, your bill will not go down, either. Those protest leaders killed that opportunity. By the way, they’re the same people now trying to recall four FPUD Board members.

Another writer said we hadn’t been doing anything lately. It’s puzzling, a few weeks ago they claimed the Board had been doing too much. Sometime you just can’t win.

Fact is, we’ve been pretty busy lately. First, the District has kept abundant amounts of clean safe water flowing to every customer during this virus shutdown. Your water is safe to drink. Our office and treatment plant and all maintenance actions continue without letup, around the clock.

After all, we ARE an Official Essential activity, and are not allowed to close. General Manger Hank White participates in daily conference calls with Placer County’s Office of Emergency Planning related to Corona-19 issues. All other staff members remain in place all day, every day, working as usual.

The front lobby is closed in order to maintain safe distances, but you can call the District at (530) 367-2511 during business hours. One of our Customer Service reps will answer. You’ll reach a real, live, helpful person. After hours, you can leave a message. If it’s an emergency, just tell the operator, and they’ll page the on-duty repair person. They’re on call around the clock.

Also, in keeping with the Governor’s orders, on May 6 the Board held a Zoom online meeting with twenty-six participants. They appointed a new Director, Ms. Jane Stahler to fill a Director vacancy. She brings a wealth of experience on other Boards during her business career. Welcome, Jane!

The Board also declared an election for two expiring Board of Directors positions, to be held during the General Election on November 3, 2020. Candidates can file to run in that election from July 13 through August 7, 2020.

In another action, the Board approved a waiver of possible conflicts of interest between the District’s law firm and another agency during its work on a potential water transfer later this year. Both agencies must sign such a waiver.

This is not unusual, and frequently occurs when dealing with large entities in the California water industry. This is due to these mega-agencies having many pre-existing relationships with other agencies, legal firms, and consultants across the State.

As a target of these untrue claims of rate increases, and unfounded accusations of not doing anything, I think the record speaks for itself.

There is no rate increase, and the FPUD and its Board of Directors are on duty, carrying out the mission – delivering abundant clean safe drinking water to all customers. Even to those letter writers who got it wrong.

Neil Cochran

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