Where is the Risk Analysis?


letters to the editor

I watched the new IID management present revised Major Work Authorizations (MWA) to the IID Board. Each time the new management has reduced the cost of the project significantly. While this cost saving can be good, I can’t help but ask, has a risk analysis been done? Are the cost reductions really just cost deferrals?   What are the risks of not doing the work as planned by the “old planning staff”?

Let me cite a few examples from a common sense perspective:

1. The S Line project is a wood pole 230 kV line from El Centro to Imperial Valley Substation. If you drive along the line it doesn’t exactly look like a reliable transmission line. Some replacement steel poles were purchased a number of years ago to allow for upgrading the line at certain designated areas. These poles are stored at the El Centro Generating Plant. What is the risk if the wood poles fall over? I know one of the pathways to bring energy into IID from the east would be severed. Since that energy is cheaper than purchasing from the CAISO, I’d think IID would want a reliable connection. The new IID management cancelled the project.

2. On March 15, 2016 the new IID management presented a revised MWA to reduce the Niland Substation project by $8.4 million. They decided to recommend that a large transformer that was planned to be installed, be used as a spare. They also recommended a transformer from La Quinta be moved to Niland instead. This might be a good idea, but I’ve got some questions and like Director Kuhn, some lingering doubts on this one. As stated in the revised MWA the existing substation bus structures are wooden. Just how old is this installation? If it was built on poles and wood supports it must be quite old. Is it safe for IID construction and maintenance people to operate and maintain? How reliable is this substation? IID has a relatively new peaking turbine plant and will have two PV generators connected there. Wouldn’t a good reliable connection point be needed?

3. With the planned removal of a large transformer from Ave 58 Substation in La Quinta to send it to Niland, what happens to reliability in La Quinta? There won’t be the redundant feed needed to keep the lights on if the one transformer is out of service. This same recommendation was made by the new management for the second transformer addition at Ramon Substation. What happens if one of those transformers needs to come out of service? Would there be a long outage? As I recall the lead time to get a transformer can be as much as 3 years.

Who is assessing the risks? What is the new management plan? Without one, the risk of sitting in the dark looks inevitable.

Arn Lahde


  1. Time marches on. But for the IID board that seems to mean they continue to do nothing. What are they waiting for? They know ZG is corrupt – they were fired for fraudulent billing last time they worked for IID and have filled positions this time illegally and still the board does nothing. 5 engineers were “let go” last fall and the great GM and legal staff can’t find a reason to actually fire them and still the board does nothing. Questions are raised about ZG doing risk analysis and actual engineering but still no answers are given except by those who remain stupid and just say go away – and still the board does nothing. What does it take for the board to actually do something? More lawsuits? Another entity to come in and start jailing people? Give back your rolex’s and fat bank accounts and do your job you were elected to do!!!

    • The game is to ignore and things go away. But there are no simple solutions, except go back,restore and do it right.

  2. Think clearly, I agree. You need a analitical mind and knowledge of the issues to lead. I like the example, of the new paint. When the money you spend is yours, the spending gets wiser and with priorities.

    • Seems like IID is playing like using Monopoly game money and ZGlobal is laughing all the way to the bank.

  3. Why, but why are employees paying for the mistakes of the ” selected, chosen managers etc. ” whom for what I read in the DR posts were never, never qualified to lead? My questions to HR is where are you…. and do qualified new applicants for all positions selected fairly??

    • HR seems to have watched on the sidelines while IID employees were fired and ZG hired. Now ZG does the hiring & firing. When/why did IID start abdicating its roles to consultants? Shouldn’t there have been public notice?

  4. I hear the board is running out of time. The community is growing increasingly restless with this ridiculousness. Especially when they’ve asked repeatedly for something to be done about the outrageous demand charges and ratchets that are threatening to run businesses out of the county. Yet there is never any resolution from the CFO. If the board refuses to make tough decisions to fix this infighting, the community has no choice but to step in. The super-PAC is ramping up. If you thought the Stella JP fireworks were grand, ice down your drinks and bring out the antojitos. We’re in for an Oscar-winning production.

  5. What I see is the IID being torn apart by too much politicking and not enough engineering. I see ZGlobal grandstanding at board meetings demonstrating how much money they are saving us by not doing the work. I see questions going unanswered, that should be answered before projects are cancelled. Why the hurry to demonstrate a big savings? Politics. Sell the concept that ZGlobal is our friend. Sell the concept that the board of IID is doing the right thing. I don’t buy it.

    • Or…maybe they really are saving money and need to show people how much of a disaster Carl’s ideas were. Maybe they wouldn’t have to discuss it so much if they weren’t being torn down for identifying the previous groups mistakes. The questions were answered….WE DON’T NEED ALL OF THE PLANNED PROJECTS RIGHT NOW…because you disagree doesn’t mean they are wrong.

      You have your opinion, but did Carl give it to you? He’s only trying to scare everyone because he got replaced and he CAN’T STAND IT. His ego is too big….so instead of letting it go…he keeps tearing everyone else’s ideas down. I’ve dealt with him….his ego is so huge …he thinks he’s never wrong….and he USUALLY IS…that’s the pathetic part.

      • Nice try, ZG, but doesn’t sound like Carl. Does sound like your motivation. You should have prepared risk analysis and management plan – simple as that!

      • ZG – your anxious finger pointing, name calling is pathetic! I remind Carl – “If you have enemies, good that means you stood up for something.”

          • Carl is needed to solve all the diverse problems and save IID. ZG just wants money. Mad Matt is too angry to know what he wants. GM needs help understanding. General Counsel & Auditor need to leave. Directors need to support Carl & those fired.

            • Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha….what…..a……moron. ok clueless one.
              Carl has no idea what to do. …his half brained attempts ended in disaster because his bs caught up with him. He’s all talk….and no substance….proven fact. You need some fresh air. …

              • There goes that crazy laugh again! Pop a pill! A simple”that dog won’t hunt”, to the idea of firing employees without notice and without cause & replacing with ZGlobal in line management positions would have stopped this expensive nonsense.

          • As an employee, sure like to see you (ZG) clear out so we could get some work done & have advancement opportunities.

    • You are right. As has been stated more than once, ZG worked for IID for many years. So what has ZG done to help the valley? Well, apparently betrayed the trust the IID engineers had in them and caused an ignorant GM and a too political board to ruin the engineers careers and possibly destroy the IID. They helped themselves to a fat consulting contract! They bought various politicians support by giving them gifts, or jobs to their families. They are modifying or moving projects that should be on the backs of the energy developers on to the IID ratepayers. But don’t ask them to do any serious engineering or a risk assessment – they don’t know how!

  6. Carl and Arn, for the love of Pete, please stop. You’re embarrassing yourselves. You both nice enough but your 15 minutes of fame has come and gone. Carl was unqualified from the start and although he gave it his best, he fell short and failed. Time to fade into the background and let the new management take the helm. If you two are truly concerned about the district and its ratepayers, you’ll quit being obstructionists so that the new leadership has an opportunity to be successful.

    What transpired is extremely unfortunate but if there’s blame to be laid, it falls squarely on the shoulders of the general manager for letting things fall to an all-time low and possibly beyond repair. Also on the chopping block should be the general counsel for giving fallacious advice to fire public employees outside of due process; clearly a distraction to cover for selling the board on his negligent and ill-fated litigation against the CAISO. Both actions will ultimately cost the district millions of dollars. Directors, when are you going to wake up? Stop sweeping problems under the rug when it’s time to do some spring cleaning.

    • This sounds like ZG has turned on the GM and General Counsel after giving them bad advice to file based on experience ZG had working for CAISO. Zg already poisoned the well to replace Carl and illegally fire energy employees & replace them with ZG employees in line management positions without posting – both unethical /illegal.

  7. Sad that Mad Max & his obtuse cronies can only sling mud and attack character, but can’t address issues. Where is the risk analysis? Are there real savings, or are the cost reductions just cost deferrals that could lead to lengthy blackouts and notably greater costs?

  8. Mr. Jalamela’s below tag of Arn Jalamela is an obvious spoof on a poor old white cracker and taken as a vote of no confidence in his smelly bag of fish bait or dusty spin.

    • May come as a shock to you, Bruce Kuhn gives his IID salary to needy families & along with Mike Abatti paid for surgeries & recovery of a local Hispanic girl with cancer. Arn Lahde is a director of a large adults with disabilities organization to which he donates his IID consulting fees though his beloved special son died accidentallly 2 years ago.

      • Thought Bruce & Arn & Mike needed some praise for their generosity and wanting the best for IID after all the insults thrown at them for disagreeing with Mad Matt and the ZG gangs. All are good guys who will help anyone needy.
        They deserve our thanks not insults!

  9. Arn Jalamela is back with is imagination management talk. This character couldn’t management a two car parade. Arn is probably looking for work. Buen suave Mr. Jalamela.

    • You guessed it. Looking for that free ride that Carl provided. Do you think he’s a little biased?

    • Sad but true. Some of these questions are the same many of us not part of the chosen StillsTeam or the new ZG team. But Arn please go away you lend NO credibility to critical issues.

  10. When put like this I’d like to see a plan, too! Sounds like the employee plan had much less risk of lights out. If new team lived here with roots in the valley would they accept this risk? Is there additional risk because they are moving large old transformers? Seems like it.

    • This is no different than managing issues within your home; only on a larger scale. Risk vs Reward is correct; Carl’s plan would have spent millions of dollars; would it have upgraded our system…yes…is it necessary…no…not now, but you would have overburdened your customer base to cover these costs. Do you automatically buy a new house because you need to paint a room or buy a new washer…no…you think clearly and spend wisely. It’s a balancing act to not overburden your consumer base while keeping your system reliable. The new management is much smarter about these issues as they have much more experience. Selling Real Estate or working in SCADA does not make you an Energy expert.

      Carl’s outrageous $5 million dollar re-org for useless managers and developing the PMO into a disastrous bureaucratic garbage pile of inefficiency is a good FACT and EXAMPLE of how you do NOT want him managing anything. He’s wasteful and inexperienced.

      • Just read the blogs.ZGlobal has been at IID for several years charged millions without bidding. What have they done? Is that spending wisely? Carl’s restructuring was a year into a 5 year plan and Tom & Paul (now GM elsewhere) were asked to leave secure mgt. positions to join energy team;then terminated for using ZG advice, and ZG rewarded with $9 million – where’s IID’s honor?

  11. When put like this I’d like to see a plan, too! Sounds like the employee plan had much less risk of lights out. If new team lived here with roots in the valley would they accept this risk? Is there additional risk because they are moving large old transformers? Seems like it.

    • Close your eyes & catch some shut eye. You’re much too slumbrous and somnifacient to understand.

      • No, In Arn’s opinion everything the IID does without him is suspect and controversial. He continually writes his nonsense when these issues have already been addressed; he simply disagrees with them. That’s funny since he has no clue about Energy matters and only writes what Carl tells him to write.

        I yawned because he’s boring not only me but many more at the IID. No one cares what he and Carl thinks. The tiny group of fiends that support them are all ignorant of IID policy, procedure and methodology. They only write their garbage to scare people into believing that something is wrong when it isn’t.

        A group of four finally decided enough was enough; the fifth only held out because of misguided loyalty. We are moving on without them and we will be much more successful without them.

      • Nice big word by the way…somnifacient…I had to look it up!
        I’m impressed….but that’s Carl and Arn for you. All “talk” and no “rock”….everyone is finally on to their blah blah blah.

        Time to get to work…go away…

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