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The Iceman Cometh, predicted playwright Eugene O’Neill, but eventually, the iceman went, and so did the milkman and the doctor willing to make house calls. Next to disappear: San Diego Gas & Electric meter readers. Like the icemen many decades before, the meter readers are being eliminated by technology. But not without complaints that the company was falsely boosting its revenue by overestimating some bills instead of relying on the meter readers.

Beginning in November of this year, the San Diego Gas & Electric unit of Sempra Energy will be installing meters that can be read by two-way wireless communication technology. The installation of the new meters will be complete in 2011, at which time the meter readers will be gone. There are currently 202 of them, down from a high of 230. They belong to the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and will be absorbed into other areas of the company or eliminated by attrition.

Some customers will be happy to see them go. “In the summertime, I got gas bills double what they should have been,” says Jack Glattery of El Cajon (not his real name). “I had representatives of the company come out. They agreed something was wrong, but the meter readers blamed the billing department, and the billing department blamed the meter readers. Then I learned how to read the meter. I call in the numbers each month. The bill has gone from $75 a month to $39. They wrote me a letter of apology.”

However, Glattery believes he was being fleeced for years: “They owe me tons of money,” he says. “I don’t believe they were reading the meter.” He found out from a friend that the meter readings are often estimated — and overestimated.

In mid-2000, San Diego’s Utility Consumers’ Action Network, which rides herd on local utilities, filed a complaint with the California Public Utilities Commission against San Diego Gas & Electric. The local watchdog asked for a cease and desist order against the utility for alleged overestimation of customers’ bills, requesting restitution to customers who overpaid their bills without just cause. The company fought the charge, but eventually the two sides settled.

The utility had been estimating bills for more than 6 customers per 1000. It agreed to reduce the estimates to 5 per 1000 over a three-year period. The company never confessed it was overestimating bills but admitted that it was “overrelying on estimates,” according to company spokesperson Rachel Laing.

“Sometimes in areas that are inaccessible, the meter readers will skip reading the meter,” says Michael Shames, head of the Utility Consumers’ Action Network. “In 2000 and 2001, we had evidence of people’s bills being estimated — meter readers not doing their job. They were giving meter readers too many meters to read,” handing the company the opportunity to make excessive estimations. Now that the matter has been settled, “the complaints about meter estimations or misreads have gone down quite a bit.”

Now, with the advent of high-tech meters that can be read remotely and can also communicate with so-called smart appliances and thermostats, “Everybody’s happy,” says Laing. Yeah, until complaints start coming in.

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Anon92107 March 26, 2008 @ 1:12 p.m.

Interesting that you should mention Michael Shames, because with “friends” like UCAN's Michael Shames San Diegans don’t need any more enemies like John Davies et al. who you exposed in “Brash Cash”.

During a seven-year period City officials maintained a sewer rate structure that overcharged City of San Diego residents resulting in more than $120 million in overcharges to San Diego households from 1998 to 2004 and lower rates for large commercial users of the system.

So Shames sued the city and sold out the residential ratepayers by settling for a mere $40 million instead of the $120 million we were overcharged.

But that’s just part of the betrayal, $5 million out of the $40 million went to Michael Shames and friends for “attorney fees.”

Isn’t our San Diego justice system just great, they even give UCAN $5 million to betray San Diego along with the rest of the corrupt and cronyistic political establishment?!

As usual, everyone wins but the citizens of San Diego, and the courts just keep enabling larceny of taxpayer funds with consequencse such as firestorms that get out of control killing 27 citizens, destroying 25% of San Diego and counting because the city refuses to spend the money instead on decent fire and police resources.

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Don Bauder March 26, 2008 @ 1:33 p.m.

Response to post #1: I don't know how the winners in that suit split the take, but I will say that $5 million out of $40 million is quite low. Usually plaintiff lawyers take 25 to 33 percent -- sometimes 40 percent -- of the haul. It takes a lot of money to prepare and execute these suits. I think UCAN does an excellent job, all things considered. Best, Don Bauder

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Anon92107 March 26, 2008 @ 2:44 p.m.

Gad, America's courts are corrupted by money and politics according to former Supreme Court Justice O'Connor, and of course San Diego's corrupt and cronyistic political establishment corrupts all of our puppeticians such as Sanders and Murphy (also a former judge on the corrupt Greer court), and the bottom line remains that the courts are so corrupt in San Diego that death and destruction are now a permanent part of life in "America's Finest City" --- a little known price we pay instead of having the public safety resources we need to protect us from the consequences of corrupt courts, politicians and totalitarianism.

I am astounded that it costs lawyers $5 million to try a case, unless that includes paying off the judges to go for $40 million (minus $5 million) instead of the $120 million they stole from residential ratepayers to subsidize the "large commercial users."

Don, what else can go wrong!

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Don Bauder March 26, 2008 @ 6:02 p.m.

Response to post #3: I am not arguing with your statement that the City stole $120 million from residents to give breaks to businesses (which line the pockets of the politicians). I think $40 million was a good settlement, given the fact that the City is broke. And $5 million to the people who filed the case, UCAN, and the law firm that tried it is well below what plaintiff lawyers and their lead clients usually charge, which is 25 to 40 percent of the take. Remember that however much UCAN took out of that $5 million goes back into the non-profit organization that fights the rapacity of Sempra. I don't know how much UCAN got and how much the law firm got, however. Best, Don Bauder

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Anon92107 March 27, 2008 @ 2:27 a.m.

Response to post #4:

Don, pardon me but "25 to 40 percent of the take" is a definition for rapacious, seems most greedy, more than a little arbitrary and just plain legalized larceny throughout the justice system. Are lawyers required to provide itemized lists of all their "expenses" for independent auditing because $5 million is a heck of a lot of money even in this age of federal waterfalls that spillover $Billion bills daily?

Yes, I grant you that every business and government group in San Diego that you keep exposing seem to be ripping off citizens and taxpayers, and it’s time to fight back with forces that are much more organized and effective than we have protecting us today because the bloodsuckers are winning.

If Michael Shames is as honest as you say he is, I would expect that he must join with Aguirre, Frye, Francis, you and The Reader to champion and protect the citizens and taxpayers of San Diego against the forces of cronyism, greed, corrupt politics and justice that are sucking the lifeblood out of San Diego.

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Don Bauder March 27, 2008 @ 8:23 a.m.

Response to post #5: Shames is definitely one of the major San Diegans fighting the cronyism, greed, corrupt politics, and domination of the real estate developers in San Diego. He has been waging the good fight for about two decades. Best, Don Bauder

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Anon92107 March 27, 2008 @ 12:29 p.m.

Response to post #6:

I sincerely hope you are right Don because we are in a whole new era.

Back to the subject of SDG&E, they have actually come a long way since the era when good old boys and sycophants tyrannized from the top floor of the Electric Building. That era pretty much ended after the 2000 energy crisis after a lawyer became CEO/COB and screwed up everything, enabled by a brain-dead governor and a corrupt CPUC.

As you did at the U-T Don, I had to suffer through decades of incompetent management, but I really got lucky and my last decade was the best professional assignment of my career, supported by an emerging new breed of role model class managers.

Michael Shames is going to have to work much harder to keep up with the likes of Michael Niggli because Niggli is one of the best engineers in the industry who rose to the top as an excellent example of the new breed.

However, there is still room for major improvement with a sense of urgency because this new Tipping Point Age with an accelerating carbon dioxide Keeling curve which coincides with the accelerating “hockey stick” global temperature curve requires a whole new long term thinking culture dedicated to eliminating fossil fuel burning by building combination nuclear power and desalination plants along the coast to guarantee both lowest cost energy and abundantly available clean water to meet San Diego's increasingly desperate requirements.

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Don Bauder March 27, 2008 @ 2:35 p.m.

Response to post #7: In riding herd on SDGE and Sempra, UCAN is keeping abreast of the critical issues of the day such as global warming, fossil fuel burning, etc. The question is whether SDGE/Sempra will keep abreast of these trends. Best, Don Bauder

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Anon92107 March 27, 2008 @ 3:01 p.m.

Response to post #8:

Don, I agree, that's why I emphasize Imperative #1:
Michael Shames must form a coalition with Aguirre, Frye, Francis, you and The Reader to make the right things happen.

The worst case ongoing scenario is that the world scientific community has failed to have enough credibility because of the "subject to further research" tenured welfare mentality that took them until 2008 to even come up with a consensus before they can even begin to make the right things happen.

And the worst case reality is that it is still too easy for the fossil fuel interests to buy off the White House, Congress and judges.

If we think Aguirre has problems locally, they are nothing like the scientific credibility problems the AAAS and the scientific community has. And it doesn’t help that our University of California still makes holocaust hydrogen bombs for profit, and has just sold out what is left of their scientific integrity to BP oil for $500 Million. UC's motto appears to be that it is easier and more profitable to blow up the world than it is to fix it.

The bottom line is that today there is no credible leadership in America to make all the right institutions work together. The QUEST section in U-T today had an excellent article on SIO’s Ralph Keeling who is correctly championing a “Manhatten Project” but the rest of the world scientific community still have their heads in the sand, to put it politely.

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Don Bauder March 27, 2008 @ 5:02 p.m.

Response to post #9: Yes, the academics who always conclude that there must be another study are shrewd: that's how they make their money. Best, Don Bauder

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Anon92107 March 28, 2008 @ 2:52 a.m.

Response to post #10:

Unfortunately for the human race we are losing the climate change tipping points races because academic science turned into a tenured welfare state after we won WWII. It has made me ashamed to admit that I am a Cal graduate when parasites like Dr. Stangelove Dynes are the role models.

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Don Bauder March 28, 2008 @ 7:26 a.m.

Response to post #11: I keep wondering how students at Cal-Berkeley in the 1960s would have reacted to having characters like Moores, Parsky and Dynes on the board of trustees and/or in the administration. Best, Don Bauder

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Anon92107 March 28, 2008 @ 11:24 a.m.

Response to post #10:

That was the era when people actually protested and made things better by doing it.

The Spirit that made America great is dead because politicians, lawyers and judges have become so corrupt, so We The People turned into lemmings.

Even Michael Shames doesn't even bother to use the power of UCAN to join forces with Aguirre and fight back against the political, judicial and U-T/Davies establishment corruption that is destroying the future of San Diego more than all other problems combined. That's where consumer activism is needed most today.

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Don Bauder March 28, 2008 @ 7:32 p.m.

Response to post #13: Aguirre has put together a terrific energy team. My guess is that, consciously or unconsciously, there is symbiosis with UCAN's efforts. Best, Don Bauder

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Anon92107 March 29, 2008 @ 2:26 a.m.

Response to post #14:

If you are correct Don, then Shames must do better by providing public support for Aguirre who along with Frye and Francis need a solidarity movement in these times when even corrupt judges are trying to overthrow Aguirre to maintain the Davies’ totalitarian state in the current election.

Relative to the San Diego courts, one of the finest people I have ever had the privilege to know and be a neighbor of for decades was a most highly respected San Diego judge. He was my role model for honor and integrity and told us in no uncertain terms that he was totally ashamed of far too many lawyers in San Diego.

So when former Supreme Court Justice O’Connor exposed our judiciary for overthrowing the Rule of Law throughout America for money and politics I was not surprised at all.

The tragedy is that our last line of defense is our institutionally corrupted system of justice that is now destroying the heart and soul of American Democracy.

That’s why I am so angry with Shames when he took $5 million from the citizens of San Diego out of a $40 million water and sewer judgment that should have been $120, allowing the undercharged forces of corruption to keep the $80 million they stole from San Diegans at residential ratepayers expense.

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Don Bauder March 29, 2008 @ 8:32 a.m.

Response to post #15: The March 16 issue of the New York Times Sunday Magazine has a fascinating -- and very depressing -- article on how the U.S. Supreme Court now gives big business whatever it wants. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has the court in the palm of its hands. The so-called liberals on the court are as guilty as the bought-and-paid-for conservative ideologues. Best, Don Bauder

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Anon92107 March 30, 2008 @ 4:25 a.m.

Response to post #21:

Don, the fact is that Shames, Aguirre, Frye, Francis and The Reader must combine your resources during this election to overthrow San Diego power brokers (defined by you and Goldsborough) or the powers that be shall continue stronger than ever before until they destroy "America's Finest City" with their sabotage.

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Anon92107 March 29, 2008 @ 11:30 a.m.

Response to post #16: Re "The so-called liberals on the court are as guilty as the bought-and-paid-for conservative ideologues." That's exactly the same problem we have been talking about with the legislative branches of federal, state and local governments, the republicans are corrupt and the democrats are braindead.

What we have proven is that judges from San Diego to Washington are corrupt beyond redemption. Lawyers are selling out Democracy to Totalitarian interests everywhere.

But the saddest part locally is that as long as our so called "consumer advocate" refuses to work openly with Aguirre to restore honor and integrity to San Diego government, we are totally screwed. We need for Shames to go after corrupt lawyers because the Rule of Law no longer exists in San Diego, as you keep documenting that San Diego courts are among the most corrupt in America.

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Don Bauder March 29, 2008 @ 12:37 p.m.

Response to post #17: The San Diego judiciary is corrupt, but is it the most corrupt in America? I'm not sure of that. You've heard the story: the recession is so bad that in New Jersey, the Mafia has laid off six judges. Best, Don Bauder

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Anon92107 March 29, 2008 @ 1:23 p.m.

Since the latest presidential election campaigns make it appear that American Democracy has devolved back to an state of aristocratic rule as the middle class disintegrates to a state of poverty much like in ancient Greece in the sixth century before Solon and Cleisthenes successfully championed new concepts of rule of law and democracy because the poorer Athenian classes were suffering from similar problems with spiraling debt, one wonders how close we are to social chaos?

Maybe we should consider the “New Jersey Solution” and give more thought to laying off judges and puppeticians who do more harm than good in San Diego, which when one reads the Auto Allowances “Watchdog report” in the U-T this morning, means most San Diego puppeticians would be out of a job.

Where is an American Pericles when we need one the most?

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Don Bauder March 29, 2008 @ 6:34 p.m.

Response to post #19: I think we have a plutocracy (rule by the rich) more than an aristocracy. And you may be right: some New Jersey (pronounced Joysey) solutions might help clean up the San Diego judiciary. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 29, 2008 @ 6:40 p.m.

Response to post #20: Do you think those who drink wheat grass and smoke marijuana would leave San Diego and save us even more water? Would the lake in El Cajon generate mosquitoes driving out the liberals? Fumber, we are going to get rid of all your bete noires. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 30, 2008 @ 7:37 a.m.

Response to post #23: Since all five are opposed to San Diego being controlled by the real estate development industry and others in the downtown establishment, there is a de facto commonality of interest, although not a formal combination of resources. Best, Don Bauder

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Anon92107 March 30, 2008 @ 11:27 a.m.

Response to post #24:

Without any "formal combination" San Diego is screwed.

It's the same as what is going on nationally with the democrats doing their worst to enable the republicans to win again.

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Don Bauder March 30, 2008 @ 5:03 p.m.

Response to post #25: Because of journalism ethics, the Reader can't formally join with Aguirre, Frye, or Francis. Best, Don Bauder

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Anon92107 March 31, 2008 @ 2:11 a.m.

Response to post #26:

That means the U-T can continue to get away with death and destruction in San Diego.

You could at least have weekly editorials to get out the vote and save San Diego, along with "Ballot Recommendations" to elect Francis, re-elect Aguirre, and encourage Shames to take consumer support to a higher level against the corrupt anti-consumer forces you keep exposing.

If The Reader can’t help your readers make the right things happen, then we are screwed for sure.

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Don Bauder March 31, 2008 @ 7:46 a.m.

Response to post #26: The best strategy for the U-T is to let it self-destruct. There were typical hit pieces against Aguirre both Sunday and today (Monday). The U-T prostitutes itself to the downtown establishment and always has, partly for social and partly for economic reasons. (These businesses are big advertisers.) Those who want to clean up San Diego should continue to ignore the U-T. However, the alternatives aren't so hot either. The Voice of San Diego has a puff piece on Scott Peters today (Monday). The glaring negatives -- such as his role in the illegal concealment of damning information from bond prospectuses -- were buried deep in the story, sweetened with sugar pills. Ditto for environmentalists' disgust with Peters. This will probably go on throughout the campaign. Some outside scholars have expressed interest in studying this establishment-financed hit campaign (accompanied by so-called investigations by the bar, AG's office, and others.) A reformer who has taken on both business and labor is being hatcheted by both, with the help of local dishonest media. Best, Don Bauder

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Anon92107 March 31, 2008 @ 11:28 a.m.

Response to post #28:

U-T and their sycophants at VOSD spew a continuous barrage of deranged rants against Aguirre, and it’s time to expose the corruption of the judge and city councilmen running against him who perpetuate the pension bankruptcy and are establishment puppets.

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Don Bauder March 31, 2008 @ 1:59 p.m.

Response to post #29: We have already had items on Peters, Maienschein and Goldsmith, and will have plenty more. Best, Don Bauder

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Anon92107 April 1, 2008 @ 3:42 a.m.

Response to post #30: “We have already had items on Peters, Maienschein and Goldsmith, and will have plenty more.”

Excellent, it’s time to publish a San Diego Weekly Reader “TOP 10 MOST CORRUPT SAN DIEGO POLITICIANS LIST”

You can inaugurate the list with Peters, Maienschein, Goldsmith, Sanders et al.

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Don Bauder April 1, 2008 @ 7:54 a.m.

Response to post #31: How about a top 20 con artists each week? There is so much material ignored by the mainstream media that ten may not be enough. Best, Don Bauder

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Anon92107 April 1, 2008 @ 12:34 p.m.

Response to post #32:

Terrific, San Diego's most corrupt need a really large spotlight burning on them to inform and wake-up the voters loud and clear. It should be much more valuable than any "Ballot Recommendations" to tell people who not to vote for.

You can categorize them:

  1. Corrupt judges

  2. Corrupt politicians

  3. Corrupt U-T/Davies establishment

They can be quantified by the costs of the destructive consequences they have caused, lives lost in firestorms, larceny, violence, disease, property losses, failed infrastructure, etc.

Your library of corruption must be so full of candidates that quantification should be useful to keep the list from getting out of control

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Don Bauder April 1, 2008 @ 3:44 p.m.

Response to post #33: Those are good suggestions, but require a lot of labor. Best, Don Bauder

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Anon92107 April 2, 2008 @ 3:10 a.m.

Response to post #33:

OK, just start off with a short "Top 5 Worst of the Most Corrupt San Diegans List" first:

Judge Goldsmith

Politicians Sanders, Peters and Maienschein

“Brash Cash” Ruling Class Overlord Davies.

As you said in post #30 "We have already had items on Peters, Maienschein and Goldsmith, and will have plenty more" so that should make it immediately doable.

Take advantage of all the hard work you have done so far to produce the first list.

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Fred Williams April 2, 2008 @ 6:09 a.m.

The most corrupt? Here are my nominees...but there is room for more.

  1. Jack McGrory
  2. Casey Gwinn
  3. Susan Golding
  4. John Moores
  5. Alex/Dean Spanos
  6. Scott Peters
  7. Byron Wear
  8. Ron Roberts
  9. Brian Bilbray
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Don Bauder April 2, 2008 @ 8:11 a.m.

Response to post #35: I wonder how long these lists will get. There are some others I can think of. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder April 2, 2008 @ 8:21 a.m.

Response to post #36: I like the fact that you are reaching into the past. Some people got away with things that are not getting sufficient attention now. For example, what was Jack McGrory's role in shifting money around for the Republican convention and setting up the system that led to the plundering of the pension fund? What was Casey Gwinn's role in the concealment of negative information from bond prospectuses? What about Susan Golding's role in the pension plundering as well as the ballpark ripoff? What about Byron Wear's role in Liberty Station? We must not drop such questions just because these people have disappeared from the public eye. Best, Don Bauder

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Anon92107 April 2, 2008 @ 11:48 a.m.

Response to post #37:

I felt that the Most Corrupt who are involved in this election should be at the top of the first list because they are causing out of control current and future problems today that shall most negatively impact quality of life in San Diego for decades to come.

Goldsmith, Sanders, Peters and Maienschein are running for office now and they must be stopped if there is to be any hope for the future of San Diego.

And no one in San Diego has more facts about their criminal corruption than Don Bauder to warn the electorate with.

Just start with the top 4 most corrupt first, they are Cunningham class corrupt.

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Don Bauder April 2, 2008 @ 12:45 p.m.

Response to posts #39: We'll keep working on the Big Four. Best, Don Bauder

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Anon92107 April 2, 2008 @ 1:40 p.m.

Response to posts #40:

How about an "Most Unwanted Corrupt Politicians" posters on the Reader cover similar to FBI Most Wanted Fugitives posters?

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Don Bauder April 2, 2008 @ 4:03 p.m.

Response to post #41: I'll take it up with the brass in the morning. Best, Don Bauder

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ilinan87 April 3, 2008 @ 5:54 p.m.

In regards to this meter reader section,

I'm currently a Meter Reader for San Diego Gas & Electric. I was kinda offended at how this posting has portrayed a meter reader to be a bad person.... How we supposedly read meters too high every month and how we don't do our jobs because we don't read everybody's meter... How can somebody criticize us if there is no background allowing you to say such things. Most customers get angry when they have an estimated bill, but 100% of the time the reason they got the estimated bill is because of their own negligence. If you have a german sheppard,pitbull, chow chow, akita, or Rottweiler, we as meter readers don't go into properties because those dogs are known to attack and have high pain tolerances. If a gate is locked how are we suppose to read it? If you have trash, or anything in front of the meter how are we suppose to read it? Also people are getting excited at how there will be more privacy and no more meter readers entering properties, but there are multiple times that meter readers have prevented huge accidents from happening, even fatal ones. Just the other day I was reading a property and as I turned the corner to read the gas meter I got a huge gust of gas, of course I immediately told the customer of the situation. If it had not been for me that whole block could have gone up in smoke! There have also been multiple times when we have run into faulty electrical wiring done by an electrician who didn't know what he was doing. The faulty wiring caused all of the gas lines to become energized. So as soon as somebody touched the meter or any lines connecting to it, the person would have been electrocuted. Some people wire up their motor homes to an outlet, not knowing that they are electrifying more than their motor home. So before there are fingers being pointed at how, "we don't do our jobs" look at how difficult your making our jobs in the first place.

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ilinan87 April 3, 2008 @ 6:01 p.m.

P.S.

The section says how "well be absorbed by other areas of the company, or by attrition. That statement is true, but only applies to the employees who are full time. What SDGE is doing, is they are not making any "call-in" meter readers full time anymore, yet they are hiring "call-ins" like crazy. A "call-in" is a meter reader who calls-in every morning to see weather they work or not.

There must be around 20 call-ins in the northern section alone. Thats not including anything below Rancho Bernardo area and below Rancho Santa Fe.

So all those "call-ins" are going to be fired as soon as this whole AMI thing has gone through.

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Don Bauder April 3, 2008 @ 7:34 p.m.

Response to post #43: If you read the comments by Michael Shames of Utility Consumers' Action Network, you'll see he is putting the blame on SDGE management, not meter readers like yourself. He says that meter readers are given too many meters to read. That gives the company an opening to overestimate a bill. But that's not the fault of meter readers. Best, Don Gauder

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Don Bauder April 3, 2008 @ 7:38 p.m.

Response to post #44: What you describe is typical of so many businesses today: they hire part-timers who don't have to be given fringes and suffer with low salaries. Companies send as many jobs as they can overseas, but the service industry jobs, like meter readers, can't be shipped abroad. So the company hires part-timers. Best, Don Bauder

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Anon92107 April 4, 2008 @ 3:25 a.m.

Response to post #46: Don, you are correct, SDG&E has some of the most dedicated employees anywhere, dedicated to providing the highest quality electric service at the lowest cost.

When the 2000 San Diego energy crisis hit I felt betrayed by our Bloodsucking executives who screwed everything up so badly, including the lawyer who bloodsucked his way to the top. But then Gov. Davis and the CPUC made it too easy for the bloodsuckers to screw San Diego, and while Davis is history, Michael Peevey who was former SCE CEO still runs the CPUC as the king of the bloodsuckers who have always been running California into the ground.

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Don Bauder April 4, 2008 @ 7:11 a.m.

Response to post #47: Mike Peevey was a startlingly incompetent top executive of Southern California Edison. The fact that he climbed to head the CPUC is mind-boggling. Best, Don Bauder

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ilinan87 April 4, 2008 @ 12:52 p.m.

In response to #45 if were given too many meters to read how you say the route that wasn't completed is sent out the following day for it to be read. They are read regardless unless dogs or something of that nature. Just because a route isnt finished one day doesn't mean that the remaining accounts are automatically estimated.

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Don Bauder April 4, 2008 @ 12:55 p.m.

Response to post #49: The column didn't say that a meter that is not read one day is automatically estimated. The column said that too many meters were estimated and that these estimates too often wound up high. This led to a settlement. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder April 9, 2008 @ 12:53 p.m.

Response to post #51: Thanks for the clarification. We look forward to UCAN playing a bigger role in these matters. Best, Don Bauder

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mshames April 9, 2008 @ 10:27 a.m.

Thanks Don, for your comments above. Just so everyone knows, UCAN didn't take a dime from the settlement with the City water dept. In fact, our policy is not to take any money from any civil case we bring -- that way we avoid any appearance of conflict.

And you are correct that it was exceedingly difficult to push the City to reimburse the entire amount taken by the large customers (with the City's help) when it teetered on the edge of bankruptcy.

But based upon what we learned about the City's management of its water and sewer infrastructure, UCAN will be taking on greater oversight of this department in the coming months.

  • Michael Shames
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