Our recall efforts are still in play. Our 1,200 signatures signed by Foresthill residents asking for a special election to recall Mark Bell, Neil Cochran, Patty Wade and Linda Cholcher as FPUD Directors is currently in litigation. An Appeal has been filed, and we wait for the courts to address our concerns.
Meanwhile, Linda Cholcher is running for election on Nov 3rd, and we can remove her from the Board by voting for Robert Palmeri. He has experience working with water infrastructure and therefore, well qualified to take on the job as Director.
Here is a recap of why we are recalling the Directors. We believe the Directors are fiscally irresponsible. One example is in the area of unnecessary litigation such as the Miners Camp (2018) lawsuit challenging the FPUD for violating Proposition 218 (a water rate structure violation). Thus far, Miners Camp has spent $200,000 in legal fees to correct the violation, and no doubt, the FPUD has spent an equal amount defending their illegal position. FPUD lost both challenges in lower and appellate courts. In addition the courts have ruled that FPUD pay Miners Camp legal expenses. So overall, the Board of Directors have authorized over half a million dollars in legal fees to defend an illegal position—all paid by the ratepayers. To this day, the FPUD Directors refuse to settle!
We believe the General Manager of FPUD is grossly overpaid. His salary along with his benefits surpasses $200,000. The Directors believe “he is underpaid and his salary should equal those Manager salaries in larger water districts.” The lack of logic behind this is mindboggling.
The FPUD budget shows that 7 employees hired by the department cost ratepayers 1.6 million dollars, and the office is closed a portion of the week. Doing the arithmetic, it is hard to explain the cost!
Unlike other Water Districts, our water is free. It comes from Mother Nature--rain and snow. Each year the FPUD sells water to other communities for millions of dollars which is another source of revenue. So why the need for water rate increases? Granting the General Manager obscene salary increases, and engaging in costly lawsuits to defend violations of the law are two good reasons.
If the FPUD Directors operated the Department in an ethical and responsible way that benefits ratepayers, we would not be recalling the FPUD Directors.
On November 3, please cast your vote for Robert Palmeri, (challenging Linda Cholcher’s position) and Jane Stahler who was recently appointed to the Board.
Please visit our website for updates on the recall and candidates -- http://fpudprotest.org/
Concerned FPUD Customer