MID gives management raises, hikes water rates to growers

01/27/2009 9:14 AM

12/13/2010 9:35 AM

Last week, I wrote about the Merced Irrigation District and the wage increases that management gave themselves.

MID turned off water to the growers last year a full month before normal, because of the drought. They then offered to sell water to growers that they had obtained from another water district.

And now, they are asking for a $5 per acre foot increase in water rates for farmers who use MID. That’s not so bad, the growers actually were more than happy to pay the increase, as long as the district didn’t sell water to outside sources.

But at the same time, the top management gave themselves raises. They justified it to me by saying that their salaries are in line with the rest of the counties, cities and irrigation districts in the state.

We printed the salaries of those top managers, and not one of them makes less than $100,000 a year. That’s a lot of money, especially in this economic climate.

Growers are struggling with low prices for their commodities, and with the drought that has cut their water supplies. For those guys, and for the rest of us, to see the money that MID managers bring home grates.

To MID, come on guys, step up to the plate and face reality. We are in a recession, and those wages don’t make you guys look very good to the rest of us, especially the growers that are being hit with water rate increases.

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