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IID efficiency: Stop talking and get moving, says Kuhn

April 17, 2002|By RUDY YNIGUEZ

Staff Writer

An Imperial Irrigation District board member urged district staff to stop talking about how the efficiency study is going to be implemented and go out and do it.

Division 2 Director Bruce Kuhn compared a request for $144,000 to train district personnel in what's called a continuous measurable improvement program equal to adding ticks to a dog that already has them.

"This ol' dog's getting a lot of ticks on it," he said, adding that when one has a dog with ticks already on it, one should try to get them off, not add more.


He said hiring another consultant to provide the desired training leads to more and more consultants.

"To hell with the $144,000, let's get the ticks off the dog," Kuhn said.

Kuhn said district management is already trained in how to get things done, and that the efficiency study lists those areas needing improvement. He said with the draconian measures already taken out, management should go out and do what needs to be done and if necessary deal with employees who fail to do what they're told.

"It's his job, it's his duty," Kuhn said. "It's what he's here for."

Kuhn made it a point to say he is not telling management to go out and shoot employees who resist the changes to implement the efficiency study.

"Let's go out and implement them," he said.

Kuhn was on the losing end of a 4-1 vote, however.

Directors Lloyd Allen, Andy Horne, Rudy Maldonado and Stella Mendoza voted to implement the training.

The $830,000 study, completed in September, says IID can save $31.6 million yearly with a one-time investment of $9 million. The report also says the net present value of the savings is estimated at $217 million. Of the savings identified, $25.47 million annually are thought to be in the power department, with $6.13 million annually in the water department.

The continuous measurable improvement program is expected to provide IID with the appropriate leadership, coaching, planning, problem solving, process improvement and problem-solving tools and techniques to help the district transform strategy into results.

Kuhn argued district management should already have such training.

Maldonado added that district employees already know the best ways to do their jobs and management should get advice from them.

In a related matter, the board unanimously approved an already-budgeted $1.5 million to implement an electronic document management system for the handling of vital documents. The system is expected to save the district $4.78 million over five years.

>> Staff Writer Rudy Yniguez can be reached at 337-3440.

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