EL CENTRO – IID Director Norma Galindo raises concerns brought up in a recent Energy Consumers Advisory Committee (ECAC) at the regular meeting of the IID Board of Directors on Tuesday, August 6.
The ECAC meets on a monthly basis and Galindo attends these meetings representing the IID Board of Directors.
IID projects that are approved by the IID Board usually have a 10% contingency attached to cover extra costs incurred. Some projects take weeks or months to complete and unforeseen costs are covered by this contingency.
Galindo commented on the Emergency Authorizations that are requested on previously approved projects.
“If a project is approved, why is it that so often, the department has to come back and request additional funding?” asked Galindo. “In some cases, the contingency is greater than 10%. Also, it seems that many projects are related to one another. If that is the case, why is there not enough effort in coordinating the financial part of those projects? The Emergency Authorizations usually come to the Board at the last minute or after the fact and we are forced to authorize these extra monies without much explanation. This happens too often. It has become par for the course and it shouldn’t be. Once a project is funded, there should be no reason for additional funding. It seems to be ongoing and it needs to stop. I’d suggest to the General Manager to direct proper staff proofread resolutions or recommendations prior to being incorporated into the agenda. Perhaps they can be read out loud to the Board as a matter of record.”
Jerry Gauna, ECAC member, asked that the Board please look at these extra funds that are being added to projects.
“These funds should go back to the ratepayer,” said Gauna. “They should not be used to add to these projects that have already been funded.”
In a related matter, Director Bruce Kuhn commented on a request he received from a wounded veteran that was experiencing financial difficulties.
“I received a call from a young former Marine wounded in Afghanistan and was scheduled to have his power disconnected,” said Kuhn. “He wanted to know if there was anything that could be done or if there was a program that we could help him with. There was no time for that. I just want people to know what some of these young men and women have to go through when they return from defending our country. He was discharged, medically, with severe wounds 7 months ago. If the Veterans Administration is not ashamed of their inaction, I will be embarrassed and ashamed for them. He’s not received anything, not one cent. That’s why he in a pickle. In any training I have received, be it military or police, you don’t leave wounded on the battlefield. He’s now in a financial battle and he’s wounded. I paid his bill, but we need to do something to get this young man his benefits. He was working at a local business. He was fired for not getting his wounds healed in a timely manner. I can’t over emphasize how sad I am over this situation and how he has been treated. I ask that Mr. Gauna look into what you can do for this young man in your ECAC committee. State Senator Juan Vargas has a representative in the audience and I ask that you look into this matter as well.”
The name of the veteran was not shared for privacy concerns.