By Joe Zenovic
The Ramona Municipal Water District Board has been actively pursuing positive steps in the last year and a half, after previous boards felt nothing was the thing to do.
With good projects, saving ratepayers hundreds of thousands of dollars, the RMWD Board has approved in the last year, it’s a shame that the only “press” is given to those who complain but offer no solutions.
The Ramona Municipal Water District has creatively initiated the following projects:
•Natural gas service to Poway pump station to potentially save hundreds of thousands of dollars yearly and provide for a more reliable power source than the electric currently used. Remember the September 2011 blackout and 2003 and 2007 wildfires when without electricity no water gets pumped. That all changes with natural gas power.
•Solar power at Santa Maria Treatment Plant to save hundreds of thousands dollars over 20 years in electric cost.
•Board of Directors has given up health benefits for the next three years, saving the district $40,000 in potential expenses.
•RMWD has implemented an Infiltration and Inflow program to stop storm water infiltration into the Santa Maria Wastewater Reclamation Plant, saving thousands of dollars and freeing up potentially 30 percent additional capacity at Santa Maria that will be made available to current Ramona residents in the near future.
•RMWD Board cut through red tape so that the San Diego Country Estates could proceed with its beautiful renovation of the Par Lounge without any cost from SDCEA to RMWD.
•Reorganization of customer service and engineering that has saved the ratepayers over $300,000 per year.
•Board member Zenovic demanded of legal counsel return of the $10,000 reservation for solar rebate spent on the San Vicente solar project that failed due to legal counsel’s poor performance.
•RMWD has been awarded a grant that will be a great benefit to the district. Those at the Tuesday board meeting heard the official announcement.
Rather than work with the water district on solvable problems and projects, Ernie Garrett and George Newman prefer to beat their chest and express their negative views.
George Newman’s Guest Commentary in the last issue of the Sentinel did not mention that he has caused the ratepayers to spend tens of thousands of dollars on his $227 past due water bill and the RMWD Board simply cannot legally or ethically forgive his water costs and push those costs onto all of the other RMWD customers.
George Newman did not mention that an inspection of his property found a hose bib in the on position, left open by his departed tenants. What skipped, the meter or the tenants?
Critics like Ernie Garrett are fast to criticize the Board of Directors for not taking a bus ride. The Ramona Municipal Water District Board of Directors unanimously approved a resolution pledging support to the San Diego County Water Authority and the rate case against the Metropolitan Water District. If San Diego is successful in that case, the ratepayers of Ramona could see a refund of several hundreds of thousands of dollars. What did Ernie Garrett contribute to RMWD for his time spent on a free junket ride to MET?
What innovative suggestions did Ernie Garrett state to the Metropolitan Water Authority that were so compelling and caused the MET to immediately roll back the water rate for Ramona? Mr. Garrett has not sent the RMWD Board even one written meaningful suggestion.
I welcome constructive comments and will work to find solutions.
Joe Zenovic, District 4 representative on the Ramona Municipal Water District Board, serves as board treasurer.