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Water board members need to sacrifice more

Regarding “I’m Just Sayin': Board in hot water after pay increase,” on Dec. 29 by Sharon Raghavachary, more than a year ago, during the November 2009 elections, she advocated for a change on the Crescenta Valley Water District Board of Directors.

She asked the public to vote for those candidates with forward-thinking and with new ideas. As her wishes came through, and now that we have three new members on the board, are we better off now than a year ago?

On the contrary, in this worst economy since the Depression, where a lot of people are financially hurting, this board recently voted to raise our water rates by 8% and now a 1% pay increase to everyone on district payroll.

As Raghavachary said, they recently reduced the amount of their stipend from $100 to $90 per meeting, which is a laughing matter. I agree with her that they should give up their compensation entirely.

Being a government employee for the last 23 years, I have not received any cost-of-living adjustment or pay raise for the last two years. Actually last year, I started providing a greater share to our retirement system, thereby taking home less money.

Currently, the Crescenta Valley Water District employees do not contribute money to their state retirement system. The district picks up their share of the cost.

I guess this is the right time that the board starts thinking about changing this system where employees start contributing to their retirement so the district can save hundreds of thousands of dollars.

I know this is not a popular item among water district employees, but they should sacrifice for the overall financial well being of the district.

Vasken Yardemian

La Crescenta

Editor’s note: Yardemian is a former member of the Crescenta Valley Water District Board of Directors.