Water District Accused Of Padding Pensions
Dick Malsbary Says Helix Water District's Pension Costs Tripled Since 2009
Last Updated: 1159 days ago
A La Mesa man is accusing the Helix Water District of padding its pension on the backs of its ratepayers.Dick Malsbary, a retired La Mesa resident, said he began investigating the district's finances after he watched his water bill increase since 2005. Since then, he said his water rates have increased every year, 5 percent in 2005, 5.5 percent in 2006, 5.5 percent in 2007, 6 percent in 2008, 8.5 percent in 2009 and 21 percent in 2010.He said he found budget numbers from the Helix Water District website and began crunching numbers.According to Malsbary, the district's staffing levels have stayed the same. While the payroll has increased by only a little, the annual pension costs have sharply increased.In 2005, Helix Water paid a little more than $850,000 in pension costs. In 2010, pension costs have been budgeted for $7.4 million, which is more than triple the pension costs in 2009. The increase comes at the same time water rates are jumping to 21 percent."I mean, this to me is thievery on the ratepayers. [Helix Water District is] just stealing," Malsbary said. "Why am I responsible for their retirement 100 percent? I'd like to pay for my retirement."Malsbary wrote a letter to the Helix Water District Board and attached the figures he pulled from the district's website. As of Wednesday, he said he had not received a response.10News tried to speak with the Water District Board Members on Wednesday but none were able to comment. Instead, the district issued this statement: "We have received the letter but have not had time to review it fully. There are factual errors and we will be able to respond next week."