Voice: Why does IID keep putting off implementing efficiency study?

May 10, 2002

As a follow up to the Imperial Valley Press editorial, let me get this straight as it baffles all common sense. After spending $830,000 to improve efficiency and cut costs, then wasting eight months in fruitless meetings that have cost untold additional time and money by staff, the district is going to spend another $144,000 before they even start the study on a "continuous improvement program expected to provide Imperial Irrigation District with the appropriate leadership, coaching, planning, problem solving, process improvement and problem solving tools and techniques to help the district transform strategy into result"?

My gosh, isn't this what good managers are expected to do? What have the IID managers who are competitively paid for their education, experience and ability to get the job done been doing? Wasn't the efficiency study created and approved as a road map to implement the efficiencies? What is apparently being acknowledged is IID management is either not trained to manage and doesn't have the ability to do so or they refuse to work together, follow directions and get the job done.


Where's the accountability? Eight months have unnecessarily been wasted. Now we are expected to wait while an additional $144,000 (bringing the total to $1 million for outside consultants alone) is spent before even starting? How long will this be? Will more money then be needed? Spend, spend, spend. Stall, stall, stall. Waste, waste, waste.

With projected savings of $2.63 million per month, $25.3 million has already been lost. Why wasn't Stone & Webster used eight months ago when Stone & Webster offered to implement for much less (and wasn't faced with the learning curve of a new consultant)? Our water and power are the most valuable resources we have and must be competently managed. We can't afford to waste them and jeopardize the future of the Valley.

If the efficiency study was implemented we would not have to cut back on needed capital projects to avoid what looks like an inevitable rate increase. In fact, we could proceed with the necessary capital projects and lower the rates. We could afford to support economic development, as the board is prone to do, for which we don't have a penny now.

Finally, without the reserves that these efficiencies could generate, what contingency money does the district have if IID loses all or even part of the $100 million lawsuit by Coachella?

Competent management plans and executes. I don't see this happening at IID, and I'll ask the obvious question. Could the board of a private company afford to allow this mismanagement and waste?



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