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Do we really need another Chelan PUD Survey?

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The Chelan PUD continues paying big bucks for professional surveys. $250,000.00 seems a bit excessive but if you net $82 million in profit for the year $250,000 is pocket change. Besides, we the rate payers let our Commissioners spend our money because up to this point their actions haven’t increased our electrical rates. 

I enjoyed reading several comments following the announcement of the survey. I’ll join those who have possible answers likely shared by the 1,000 customer-owners being contacted. To my knowledge no survey conducted in the past years generated any information resulting in any change. Perhaps the management and our commissioners like spending money on surveys to demonstrate they have an interest in the opinions of those they serve.

I don’t know what questions will be asked but I do know the approach taken in asking the questions can results in generating the answers desired. The comments expressed will likely be as follows.

  1. I love the low electrical rates – don’t raise them.
  2. The Commissioners have minimum positive impact but they were elected by ‘we the people’. 
  3. The commissioners approve whatever the General Manager requests.
  4. If I’m not connected to the PUD sewer or water service I agree these rates should be increased to cover their expenses.
  5. If I don’t have access to the Fiber Optic service, I want fiber immediately and I don’t care if everyone pays more for fiber service or electricity as long as I get fiber to my house without delay.
  6. The Internet Service Providers should pay more for their access to the PUD fiber.
  7. New, expensive TV down-link equipment should not be purchased to benefit the Internet Service Providers.
  8. I agree with the emphasis on energy conservation as long as it doesn’t raise my electrical rates.
  9. The PUD is paying its General Manager too much but I don’t care as long as my electrical rates remain low.
  10. The Rocky Reach visitor center and the parks are excellent and are important so I have somewhere to send my relatives and friends when they visit.
  11. I like alternate energy sources such as solar and wind but since the PUD management tells me energy sources other than hydro are impractical and create a nuisance for the hydro operation I won’t push the issue for fear our electrical rates will be increased.
  12.  I would like to see the Chelan PUD do more to encourage our students to pursue science, technology and alternate energy but the management always seems to find an excuse why direct investment in education isn’t legal.
  13. I don’t feel that the Chelan PUD listens to me as a customer-owner but I don’t care as long as the electrical rates remain low and I have fiber to my house.
  14.  If I offer a suggestion or ask a question I know I will be told public power is too complicated to explain but they appreciate my valuable input.
  15. I don’t care if the Chelan PUD spends $250,000 on a survey if Colin Brine is a sufficiently sharp salesperson to convince them they need his expensive professional services and the survey doesn’t raise my electrical rates.


No new information will be generated but I anticipate Colin will present the survey results in the newest version of ‘survey speak’ so the report will sound impressive with commissioners congratulating each other for a job well done.