All La Mesa Blog Posts Tagged 'Helix Water District' (20)

La Mesa Focus

Water Restrictions Increase As Drought Worsens

LA MESA -- The City of La Mesa issued the latest edition of La Mesa Focus, the city's newsletter, including details of the latest water restrictions being imposed by the Helix Water District and details of on-going city projects.…


Added by La Mesa Today on September 2, 2014 at 2:07pm — No Comments

Holding the Bag - There's More

Last week we pointed out that the La Mesa Spring Valley School District has an unfunded liability for retiree health care of almost $24,000,000. That amount of money should have been set aside to pay for promises to provide for health care after retirement - but it was not. We decided, in the interest of fai rness and requested by some taxpayers, to look at two other local…


Added by La Mesa Citizen Oversight Group on August 21, 2013 at 6:00am — 10 Comments

La Mesa Arts

La Mesa Couple Wins Landscape Contest

LA MESA -- As Helix Water District’s winners of the 2013 Water Agency Landscape Contest Tere Trout and Jonathan Becket of La Mesa were awarded a $250 gift certificate from a local nursery, a $250 gift certificate from Home Depot (one of the conservation…


Added by La Mesa Today on June 16, 2013 at 8:49am — No Comments

Helix Water District

Old Pipes Give Way, Crews Rush In

LA MESA -- Harry Truman was president.

Hiroshima was still in ruins.

La Mesa was a small town with open spaces.

That's when the cast iron pipe that carries water along the Upland Avenue, Fresno Street neighborhood was buried in the…


Added by La Mesa Today on December 4, 2012 at 8:30am — No Comments

La Mesa Politics

Choices Abound in Council Race 

LA MESA -- Within minutes of the start of Thursday's candidates forum, it was clear the five candidates would be giving La Mesa a broad range of choices in filling the two…


Added by La Mesa Today on September 14, 2012 at 7:30am — 7 Comments

HWD Board puts screws to rate payers again

One week after HWD General Manager Carlos Lugo stood before the La Mesa City Council professing how the HWD has done all things right about reducing costs in an attempt to keep water rates from increasing even further, the back room deals are back.

 The HWD Board, General Manager and Employees have conspired to bypass the regular process of re-negotiating the MOU which wasn’t up until 2013   In exchange, the rate payers get to watch the payroll costs continue to balloon out of…


Added by David Smyle on July 30, 2012 at 10:30pm — 3 Comments

City Council

A Costly, Cranky Day For La Mesa

LA MESA -- In many ways, Tuesday started out as a sort of classic small town day.

The friends, family and admirers of local restaurateur Don Sanfilippo gathered in a church to honor a life that had been lived, in large part, at the service of La…


Added by La Mesa Today on July 10, 2012 at 11:30pm — 9 Comments

La Mesa City Council

Getting Back To Basics

LA MESA -- The La Mesa City Council met for almost four hours Tuesday night and, in many ways, it was a night of basic elements: Time, Water, Electricity, Sewer, and Horticulture.



Dr. Sunita Cooke, president of Grossmont…


Added by La Mesa Today on July 26, 2011 at 11:30pm — 1 Comment

Helix Water District

A Small But Angry Crowd At Water Meeting

LA MESA -- The Helix Water District has about $1.5 billion invested in its system. It has 700 miles of pipeline in the ground, 25 storage tanks, 16,000 valves, and a state-of-the-art water treatment plant.  It also has 11…


Added by La Mesa Today on July 21, 2011 at 9:30pm — 4 Comments

Taxation Without Representation is Alive and Well

On Wednesday April 20th, the Helix Water Board on a 4-1 vote approved the two year MOU negotiated by the employees for the employees with no rate payer representation.  That’s right!  Mark Weston and Lisa Irvine, employees of Helix Water were appointed by the Board to represent the rate payer’s interest in the negotiations with the employees.  Ok, what did I miss?  General Manager Weston ($200,000+ salary) and Administrative Services Director Lisa Irvine negotiated against…


Added by David Smyle on April 22, 2011 at 9:30pm — 16 Comments

Helix Water District

Buckley: HWD Board Let Us Down

The "pension reform" in the just approved Helix Water District (HWD) labor agreements is about what I feared from negotiations that have employees sitting on both sides of the bargaining table. Despite assurances that pensions would be reformed, made during the last rate increase hearings, little was actually done. The Board must have thought token changes would give the…


Added by Russell Buckley on April 22, 2011 at 1:30pm — 1 Comment

Governor Brown Issues Pension Reform Recommendations

Water Districts take note!  Governor Brown has just come out with his pension reform recommendations.  While many of the local agencies have already taken steps towards reforming pensions, our Water Disricts are far behind the curve, especially HWD.  (See Gov. Browns reforms at the link below).…


Added by David Smyle on March 31, 2011 at 5:30pm — 4 Comments

Chamber Mixer

Visiting A Hidden Jewel: Anthony's Fish Grotto

LA MESA -- Every few weeks members of La Mesa's Chamber of Commerce gather at one of the member locations for some food, drinks and networking.

Wednesday's meeting was held at Anthony's Fish Grotto. For long time La Mesans, this restaurant…


Added by La Mesa Today on March 30, 2011 at 11:00pm — No Comments

Smyle: Helix Water Directors Paid Handsomely

Don't expect the Helix Water Board to make any changes to employee benefit and pension package in the upcoming Memorandum of Understanding with its employees.  When they themselves can make over $18,500 in benefit compensation (see chart below) before you add in the $200 per meeting for another 7-10 meetings per month and you have total compensation that could approach nearly $40,000 for a part time job. Not bad. 

Some wonder why a Board member would spend $10,000 to win an election…


Added by David Smyle on March 25, 2011 at 10:00pm — 1 Comment

Helix Water District Shrinks Its Budget

Helix Water District Shrinks Its Budget

By Russell Buckley

So reads the headline in the most recent edition of Helix Highlights - a glossy publication from HWD. I am happy to see costs reduced. I assume that will mean lower water rates - a thing I expect most of us can agree about. But a little more reflection on the article brings out the skeptic in me. Ongoing MOU negotiations, which many of us…


Added by Russell Buckley on March 15, 2011 at 12:00pm — 4 Comments

Tax Hawks shed light on HWD excesses

David Smyle, a member, is one of the founding members of the East County Tax Hawks group. He files this report on the organization's behalf.


At Wednesday’s HWD Board Meeting, the East County Tax Hawks brought to light how the failure of HWD Boards to act responsibly and in the best interests of the rate payers in the last two employee MOUs is going to cost the rate payer. Since 2002, HWD has hired 76 people of the 150 current employees or over 50% of…


Added by David Smyle on March 2, 2011 at 10:30pm — 35 Comments

Helix Water District

Watchdog Group Lists Demands For Water District

LA MESA -- The East County Tax Hawks, a fledgling group formed recently to focus on government spending and public employee benefits, plans to return to the Helix Water District meeting Wednesday with a specific list of…


Added by La Mesa Today on March 1, 2011 at 9:30pm — 1 Comment

Helix Water District

Citizens To Water District: Time For Cuts

HELIX WATER DISTRICT – The board that oversees delivery of water to most homes in East County met Thursday and heard from a few of their customers who have been complaining about employee benefits offered by the…


Added by La Mesa Today on February 16, 2011 at 5:00pm — 10 Comments

Helix Water Board Meeting Wednesday

Posted By David Smyle

We need a show of force at this Wednesday's HWD Board meeting at 2 pm at the HWD offices.  Tell everyone you know who can make it to show up at the meeting and let the Board know their continued acceptance and promotion of these excessive employee beneifts EMPLOYEE BENEFIT PACKAGE are not acceptable any more and they represent us, the…


Added by David Smyle on February 14, 2011 at 10:00am — 1 Comment

David Smyle "If you weren't mad yet, wait until you hear this!"

To all Helix Water District rate payers.  We all just received an 8% rate increase for this year from the HWD which was also approved by the cities who have to vote on it but did you know that for FYE 6/30/2010, the HWD made a net profit of $7 million and have made over $23 million in profits over the last 10 years having only two losing years.  Even more outrageous is that if you work for the HWD whose average  salary per employee is $63,000+ (assumes all are at the bottom end of the pay…


Added by David Smyle on February 4, 2011 at 3:30pm — 8 Comments

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