As a Pacific County resident and recipient of PUD #2 services, I am just shocked. I have been attending the commissioner's meeting for the last four months and have never witnessed a less involved, inactive, uninformed and ineffective board of commissioners in my life.
These commissioners have obviously been trained from their first encounter with PUD management that their job is to ratify everything that this management team throws at them. Four months ago a rate payer asked the commissioners if the "extravagant management wages and wage increases" would affect our rates. Well, first off, the commissioners deferred the question to the manager because they are not involved enough to answer any of the public's questions. Then the manager assured the ratepayer that there were no plans to increase our rates. Well surprise, in the meeting last Tuesday the manager put a proposal on the table for a rate increase. Hmm.
In effect, the manager of the PUD "is" the acting board of commissioners. If he proposes something to this board; he gets it...it is just that automatic. These commissioners are being made fools of by this management team. And they are proudly walking that walk oblivious to how it makes them look.
Here is a perfect example of a commissioner who is oblivious to what her job is. In the last meeting, I asked for the third time to be given the damage report that United Rentals presented our PUD for the manlift that was used by a PUD manager at his home and was then wrecked while still in his possession. But this time I presented commissioner Diane Thompson with an affidavit to sign what would have given us the authority with United Rentals to request and recieve the damage report. When handed the form, she, without even looking at it, placed it to the side and instructed me to "go on". No answer for me and no signature on the form. Following that, there was some discussion amoung the commissioners. Then Commissioner Thompson assigned the task of getting the report to, who else, but the general manager, one of the very people that I alledge is complicent in this cover-up. So now I will be stunned if that report ever sees the light of day. And if it does, it will be washed and filtered. Why, I wonder, did they not give us the authority to get the report? Or, even better, why did they not order the report themselves? This unwillingness to be participants in the running of the PUD and the wishes of the public is shameful.
As a prominent local businessman said in a recent meeting, it is a cultural problem that starts with the commissioners and filters down through the ranks. In this case, with a board that is as disconnected as it is, this management team treats our PUD as if it were their own private business and they use it as such.
It is time for the people to take back their rightful ownership of the PUD. It is time that our wishes are heared and acted on. It is time that when asked a question these commissioners do not just say "go on" and leave it at that. It is time for this commission to start doing their elected duty for us. Or, it is time to remove them from thier seats and bring in a commission that represents the electorate.
I would ask the ratepayers to come to the meetings and be heard. They are in Raymond on the first Tuesday of the month and in Long Beach on the third Tuesday of the month. I would ask any ratepayer who has been mistreated by this bunch to come to the commissioner's meetings and be heard. I would ask PUD employees, past and present, who have worked on personal projects for PUD managers to contact me. If you want annonimity, I will honor that, but please tell me your story so I can carry your message to the board. Over the last several months I have been contacted by many people who are in support of this movement. I need your stories, the commissioners need your stories. You can call me at 880-1975.