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Musings on Water Rationing and Raises

March 21, 1991

Oh, those public officials in the water industry! Thanks to all of us, they are planning marvelous things for themselves!

At the April 3 meeting of the Upper San Gabriel Municipal Water District, the board of directors, who are elected, will vote on a whopping pay increase for themselves. From the present pay of $100 per meeting, six meetings a month, to (one proposal of) $162.89 a meeting, 10 times a month (includes committee meetings), for a total of $1,628.90 monthly for each director. The water code says (thanks to our state legislators) that the districts "may" increase their pay 5% per year, compounded, retroactive to 1981.

Their pay increase is in addition to medical, dental, vision and retirement benefits, for meetings which last 2 1/2 hours, and is in addition to air travel, hotels and expenses to seminars, conventions, and workshops everywhere.

None of this, of course, addresses the serious San Gabriel Basin ground water contamination or the frightening lack of money necessary for the cleanup. Everyone should ask when the responsible polluters will pay, and when the local, state and federal politicians are going to address the funding and make it their priority. After all, isn't government's first responsibility the health and safety of its citizens? What's more important than our drinking water?

So, when you pay your next water bill, think of all the nice benefits you will be contributing to the water industry. Or let your district elected representative know your thoughts. Better yet, attend their meeting, which is a public hearing on the pay raise, on April 3.

BARBARA L. MEE

Glendora

Editor's note: The April 3 meeting is at 2 p.m. at the district headquarters, 11310 Valley Blvd., El Monte.

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