To the Editor: Water District Needs the Urge to Merge

Resident Austin Vanchieri says the only way to survival is to consolidate ten water districts.


Editor's Note: Resident Austin Vanchieri submitted this letter to the Purissima Hills Water District and to Patch as a Letter to the Editor.

April 5, 2012


Dear Sir,

I am writing to protest the proposed water price increases under the provisions of Prop 218.

The increases do not meet with my approval. Following, are my views:

a. The automatic increases and approvals should not be part of any change. The idea that carte blanche authority be given to raise prices to the owners of the district PWHD is contrary to any rational thought process. Are we to agree to raise prices to ourselves without contemplating the action beforehand? The fact this was even considered gives a negative impression of the current board.

b. Future increases should be noticed and approvals sought in a mailing with inserted ballots to bereturned with bill payments by all residents. In this way if 50% of the ballots are returned as a no response, another solution beyond a price increase would be sought.

c. Salary and consulting payments should be reduced in PHWD immediately. The engineering costs and secretarial costs are unacceptable, as I understand for two people the cost is approximating $400,000.

The overall skill and competence level at the PHWD is below that needed to successfully run this important function, but we will leave correction of that problem to the voters. Term limits need to be imposed on this organization.

e. Most importantly and necessary for the overall solution of this problem a management project should be initiated by the board and some residents who are qualified to consolidate at least ten water districts on the Peninsula south of San Francisco so as to reduce overheads by at least $5-$7 million in total. The current water boards are too small to be effective or efficient but would, on a consolidated basis,  have the buying power and opportunity to reduce costs afforded to a larger water district. The new board would have an elected official from each district.

Thank you for your consideration.

Austin E Vanchieri

Austin Vanchieri was a corporate Vice President of Xerox, President of the Information Products Division, and currently Chairman and CEO of Visual Edge Technology. He has resided in Los Altos Hills since 1984.

richard aurelio April 12, 2012 at 11:15 PM
Great idea's! Agree completely, unfortunately need a board that understands business principles and is willing to break from the status quo. Term limits a necessary step to break from the past.
anonymous April 26, 2012 at 11:37 PM
Bhahaha how much stock do you all have in this? Do you realized that the sale of PHWD to Cal water would in turn, cause for an immediate rate increase, in which the residence of Los Altos Hills would have no say in.


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