During the Menvielle and Mendoza terms as IID Director you need to only ask yourself, has IID run efficiently, offered low rates and protected the Valley’s water and energy? Along with disgraced director Sanchez they commanded a 3-2 voting bloc to control IID. The answer is simply that this has been a time of secretive meetings and uncontrolled spending with IID debt rising from a couple of million to several billion and its premier credit rating was lost. To pay for needed capital the IID is now faced with selling additional paper, much like financing operations with credit cards.
Allegations of corruption became common place along with ongoing cover ups. Two General Managers came and went. Legal costs soared with unknown results ; yet Director Menvielle recently scheduled attorney Osias on the public’s dime at two recent board meetings to support his agenda. With attorneys charging from $400 – $700 an hour this is blatant misuse of Osias’s time and ratepayer money. But the public has never been given a breakdown of the hundreds of millions in attorney costs. What have they delivered? That’s unknown because there has been no reporting and transparency during Menvielle & Mendoza’s reign at IID.
Employees were spied upon without permission and emails surfaced that alleged collusion between director Menvielle, IID legal and the newspaper to invalidate a Grand Jury Report that represented countless hours of diligent work by dedicated, concerned residents. Contracts were given to highest bidders with no disregard to local contractors despite grievances being brought to the attention of the incumbent directors. The list of alleged corruption and special favors to outsiders goes on and on.
Answers to questions have never been given like, how many hundred million did the failed gas hedging fiasco really cost? This has never been completely answered, just covered up, and is an underlying reason for lack of money for capital projects. It explains why the ECA money hasn’t been fully returned. Despite the $78 million recently acknowledged by director Menvielle, another $138 in over-collection has been identified, but is still owed to the rate payers. The incumbents voted by bloc at least 4 times against returning this ECA money and lowering rates, despite Menvielle’s recent claim to the contrary. The incumbents also voted against adopting a universal contracting code to ensure fairness, causing hundreds of millions to be overspent by ignoring the lowest bidder and giving preference to special outside interests. The incumbents haven’t faired well either protecting the integrity of IID’s transmission system against outside interests. The wheeling from the Mt. Signal overpass could have paid debt service. And, the $25 million wasted on the Gateway Project that was pushed hard by Menvielle has never been explained.
The failed QSA was also on the incumbents’ watch; yet they still approved amendments to the QSA that have resulted in loss of IID assets to outside interests. Only time will tell if the the next giveaway from the Menvielle, Mendoza regime is the State’s obligation to the Salton Sea. Also, with regard to water, Stella for 12 years has said that the farmers were going to sell their water knowing full well that water is a public resource that nobody can sell. The right to use belongs to the land. That is very different than Stella’s claims. To promote this lie for what can only be assumed as political reasons has been unnecessarily divisive and misleading.
Finally, I don’t believe the public can stand the giveaway of any more assets. The incumbents have not protected projects that should have connected to the IID system. This has jeopardized future income and could, along with other waste mentioned, result in a rate increase or extensive employee layoffs as needed income moves to outside communities.
All these reasons shout that the IID will be better off without Menvielle and Mendoza. New leadership is needed to protect IID’s vast water and energy resources when so many outside interests covet them.