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WAPA off again explain Hodge's Raise

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Captain Jay
(@Captain_Jay)
Advanced Member

Should have stayed downtown cause de power off again. Third time in a week.

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Topic starter Posted : June 15, 2010 10:46 pm
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member Registered

Maybe he is a Lakers fan?

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Posted : June 16, 2010 12:34 am
billd
(@billd)
Trusted Member

Thank Mr Hodge. After all he has done such a great job This is part of his new conservation plan!

billd

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Posted : June 18, 2010 1:31 am
Bombi
(@Bombi)
Trusted Member

The PSC voted down the LEAC increase on electricity, then they actually lowered it. But then they raised it for water. Alvin G News has some good sound bites.

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Posted : June 18, 2010 12:11 pm
aussie
(@aussie)
Trusted Member

It'd be pretty cool if that decision was a direct response to Hodge's raise, kinda like, "If you're foolish enough to give him that kinda raise and then think you can come in here asking for more money to pay for it, think again."

With winds forecast to howl at 20MPH this weekend, I guess we can plan on a few more "conservation" efforts this weekend.

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Posted : June 18, 2010 3:06 pm
billd
(@billd)
Trusted Member

I am getting ready to order some windmills for my wind field farm. Then my Hodge can stick his power up his ....

billd

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Posted : June 19, 2010 12:57 pm
stiphy
(@stiphy)
Trusted Member

The thing is I would have no problem with the head of Wapa making $240,000 if Wapa was being run correctly. I'd be in favor of paying someone $10,000,000 a year if they had the skills to manage the organization in a way that would make it competitive with other electrical utilities in similar environments which it is not.

The problem is not that the CEO fo Wapa makes $240,000/year it's that THIS CEO, who has allowed Wapa to retain its status as the worst run electrical utility by a high margin in the entire US (even taking into account the unique challenges the islands pose) would be given a raise rather than shown the door.

Sean

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Posted : June 19, 2010 5:46 pm
Captain Jay
(@Captain_Jay)
Advanced Member

OK I have rethought my original post and I have changed my mind. Mr. Hodge is entitled to the $240,000 or so dollars a year in compensation that the board has so wisely decided to grant him. I do believe that they need to ad a "performance" clause to his contract though. I will gladly lay out the basics here for free so as to not encumber them with any great legal fees for this addendum.

Basically every time 25 or more residences or businesses lose power for more than ten minutes he should personally pay a penalty of $10,000. So if the power goes of 24 times in a year he works for free. I am not totally hearless though and in the event of a named storm he should be allowed a pass as long as the power is restored in a reasonable period of time. Say a week for a hurricane 24 hours for tropical storms. Also as an added incentive I think the power and the back up generator that I am certain he has at his residence should be shut off any time 25 or more residences or businesses lose power and they should stay off until the outage is repaired for all. The added shall we say pressure that I am sure his wife and family would place on him during these times would surely increase his efficiency.

Jay

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Topic starter Posted : June 19, 2010 9:52 pm
Novanut
(@novanut)
Trusted Member

Maybe change the acronym to: We Always Provide A (laugh or two).

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Posted : June 20, 2010 12:30 am
billd
(@billd)
Trusted Member

240000 is a bad joke on every person in the islands. I guess we are stupid little things. No one who has run WAPA the way he has should get that kind of money.

billd

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Posted : June 20, 2010 12:59 am
aussie
(@aussie)
Trusted Member

OK, that was the 4th power outage on the west end this weekend. The 3rd one was preceded 2 serious drops in current. If it wasn't for the horrific weather we're having this weekend - NOT - I'd probably be getting a bit annoyed by now.

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Posted : June 20, 2010 6:28 pm
aussie
(@aussie)
Trusted Member

OK, make that 5 times. WTF?

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Posted : June 20, 2010 6:53 pm
billd
(@billd)
Trusted Member

Think about this. I am sure that he will get a pension. Perhaps after 15- 20 years. He probably gets full pay then with full medical coverage. So us SAPS will be paying for the worst manager of the worst run power utility for a long, long time.

The more I think about this the more upset I am.

billd

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Posted : June 20, 2010 8:03 pm
dntw8up
(@dntw8up)
Trusted Member

Our power was off for nine hours today, from 9am-6pm. I can cope with my virtual crops withering, but it's ridiculous that a utility in the tropics can't provide uninterrupted service for no other reason than because it's raining.

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Posted : June 21, 2010 12:01 am
Novanut
(@novanut)
Trusted Member

Aussie, Mr. Hodge is testing you...

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Posted : June 21, 2010 11:53 am
GoodToGo
(@GoodToGo)
Trusted Member

I hate to say it and sound like an apologist but after seeing how screwed up business processes are at any complex operation in the USVI there's a possibility that Mr. Hodge is indeed doing a decent job. I know NOTHING about specific WAPA operations (nor have I ever met Mr. Hodge) but if the government has played the rob Peter to pay Paul game with WAPA's reliability/maintenance program it's quite conceivable you would have MORE outages if it weren't for whatever he does on a daily basis.

Again, I know no specifics - just that there's two sides (or more) to any story.

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Posted : June 21, 2010 1:49 pm
aussie
(@aussie)
Trusted Member

LOL Novanut. Mr Hodge and WAPA seem to be testing us all.

The LEAC is freaking killing us. Anybody have a firm grasp of what that puppy is and wanna take the time to explain it to me? I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around it. As I understand it, it goes back to '81. It was supposed to keep our monthly electric bills from jumping drastically month to month as the price of oil increased. It allowed WAPA to go back and capture the increased cost of of fuel over the prior 6-month period. It seems to have departed from the original intent.

What all is being tucked into the LEAC rate that was never intended to be there? How far back is WAPA trying to collect? In a letter to the St Croix Avis dated November 8 2005, then WAPA CEO Alberto Bruno-Vega said, "... it is not “WAPA which owes some $17 million in bills of its own, most of which goes to pay for the exploding cost of oil used to make electricity,” as you stated. Rather, the $17 million represents monies stilled owed to WAPA by its ratepayers for the cost of fuel oil used to generate electricity and produce water in the past." Link pasted at the bottom.

Is WAPA including its entire accounts receivables (including prior years) into the amount it tries to collect from the current rate payers? That can't be right, can it?

Someone put up a site and stated that the LEAC rate on their Oct 1999 WAPA bill was .01030303 or just over one penny per KWH. WAPA stated its deferred fuel costs in 2002 as being 800K . That number is projected to be $23,597,000 at the end of June, 2010.

Uh...Mr Hodge...I'm pretty ignorant about all of this but it seems to me that something ain't quite right here. Uh...something ain't workin'!

That huge salary Mr Hodge just received should have been dangled in front of him like a carrot. Ya know, like "Fix this mess; take the load off of the rate payers; provide reliable electricity and we'll pay you through the nose." But, nope, it was just a gift.

Maybe WAPA should just be allowed to fail. Break it free from the government and just let it fail. No one will buy WAPA as it is - antiquated equipment held together with duct tape and a staggering debt load.

Maybe we could start with the government actually paying its electric bill. Now there's a novel idea.

http://www.viwapa.vi/news.asp?item=39

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Posted : June 21, 2010 2:32 pm
aussie
(@aussie)
Trusted Member

Good point, GoodToGo. I've met Mr Hodge and he seems to be an intelligent and decent guy. I read that "I've got your back" has replaced "Not my problem" as the motto of the line crews. He's certainly earned their loyalty and respect and they've got his back.

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Posted : June 21, 2010 4:30 pm
stiphy
(@stiphy)
Trusted Member

The Leac does seem like it's a hidden and illegal tax being used to pay for the fact that the government isn't paying for their electricity. Rather than cut spending or introduce a new tax the legitimate way (through senate) the government seems to have figured out that they can just "not pay" their bill and have everyone else pick it up. The only problem with this plan, it doesn't strike me as being completely a legal way of doing things as the government is still on the hook for those power bills contractually.

However, the fact that Mr. Hodge and his team doesn't have any hedge plans in place to mitigate sharp spikes in the prime ingredient in his product, aka oil, tells me a lot about his worth as the CEO.

Sean

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Posted : June 21, 2010 6:34 pm
billd
(@billd)
Trusted Member

He has NO WORTH.

billd

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Posted : June 21, 2010 9:03 pm
GoodToGo
(@GoodToGo)
Trusted Member

I suspect WAPA much like any cash-strapped org (e.g., Hovensa) can't afford a hedging strategy. That is unless the public doesn't mind adding a hedge fee to go along with their LEAC?

The more I look at it the more I realize that paying a WAPA bill is a lot like putting a lock on a valued item in the USVI. It's only for the honest people! Between government orgs not paying, merchants stealing electricity, private parties stealing electricity, etc. it's no wonder why the half the population left is paying so much since each paying person is probably paying for 2 heads for every 1 in their household. I'd like to see a breakdown of KWHs generated vs. KWHs invoiced by WAPA. I suspect that aside from that low 1-2% (?) theft number I read once that they're burying the theft somewhere like 'line transmission loss'...

The Leac does seem like it's a hidden and illegal tax being used to pay for the fact that the government isn't paying for their electricity. Rather than cut spending or introduce a new tax the legitimate way (through senate) the government seems to have figured out that they can just "not pay" their bill and have everyone else pick it up. The only problem with this plan, it doesn't strike me as being completely a legal way of doing things as the government is still on the hook for those power bills contractually.

However, the fact that Mr. Hodge and his team doesn't have any hedge plans in place to mitigate sharp spikes in the prime ingredient in his product, aka oil, tells me a lot about his worth as the CEO.

Sean

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Posted : June 21, 2010 9:10 pm
DUN
 DUN
(@DUN)
Trusted Member

Then there's the local incompetence fee(how many monkeys does it take to install & light a light bulb)?

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Posted : June 22, 2010 1:15 am
stiphy
(@stiphy)
Trusted Member

I've seen them changing light bulbs on a Sunday night on street lights in my neighborhood. At first I was like "wow, that's service" but then I realized that what was probably going on was that if they worked Sunday night they'd get time and a half 🙂 Or maybe I'm too cynical.

Sean

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Posted : June 22, 2010 2:11 am
beachy
(@beachy)
Trusted Member

WAPA decided to hedge a portion of their needs a couple years ago when the prices were so astronomical..and they entered contracts back shortly before the oil price tanked to way below their hedge figure, which means they had to pay more instead of benefitting from the price fall....sorta seems like the way it goes in the VI.

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Posted : June 22, 2010 1:38 pm
stiphy
(@stiphy)
Trusted Member

Actually it means WE had to pay more!

They should hire the guys from Southwest Airlines who have done a great job hedging their fuel. Pay them $240,000 each 🙂

Sean

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Posted : June 24, 2010 2:40 pm
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