Overwhelming Number of Residents Participate in Water District Survey

Officials say, results indicate how many local residents are interested in water district operations, including rates, water quality and where ratepayers' money goes.

More than 500 customers participated in an online survey sent out to customers in August, water district officials and representatives from Flint Strategies, the firm that facilitated the survey, said in a recent press release.

That is much higher than expected. When the survey was announced in July, Kendall Flint, a consultant with Flint Strategies, said they had hoped to receive between 250-350 completed surveys. The actual number of completed surveys they received was 520 - nearly double what they anticipated, said Flint, who called the response "overwhelming."

Water District general manager David Dickson said, this just goes to show how many customers are interested in water district operations.

Results showed that 84 percent of survey-takers are unclear as to how the district spends its money. Dickson said, the water district wants to change that.

“We want our customers to have a clear understanding regarding our operations, investments, infrastructure and overall management”, he said. “We used the survey to learn about our customer’s concerns and identify the best ways to communicate the information they want.”

The survey was sent to more than 2,700 customers, and a link was provided on the district’s website.

Four out of five of survey respondents said they want to receive information about billing and water rates. Nearly 74 percent said they are very interested in water quality. Eighty percent of respondents said "reliability of service" was more important to them than cost. And, 64 percent characterized overall customer service as "good" or "excellent," with 16 percent calling it "average" and just 4 percent calling it "poor" or "fair."

The District has posted the complete survey results on its website at www.coastsidewater.org.

Dickson said, he hopes this survey is the beginning of a new trend toward better communication between the Water District and its customers.

“We have a responsibility to our rate payers to provide complete transparency in all of our operations,” added Dickson. “People need to be given enough information so that they are confident that our rates are appropriate and necessary to ensure the consistent delivery of high-quality, safe drinking water.”

The serves the City of Half Moon Bay and part of the unincorporated area of San Mateo County including Miramar, Princeton By The Sea and El Granada. The District’s service territory encompasses approximately 14 square miles and serves nearly 20,000 people. The system consists of two water treatment plants, 17 miles of transmission pipeline, 83 miles of distribution pipeline, several water storage tanks and other equipment.


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Karin Meiswinkel October 05, 2011 at 07:34 PM
Coastside Water Co. expressed surprise at how many people participated in their survey in August? Since the response was double, perhaps they should consider that maybe we consumers here are concerned about accurate rates, readings, spending, etc.People didn't participate just because they had spare time on their hands. They want honest answers. Coastside has managed to keep many things, especially an exact accounting of their budget & spending, pretty much in the dark. In this economy, this is especially unacceptable.They still receive cost of living raises? Where does that even exist in these times? I have been to their meetings, etc. I would like to see a Watchdog Agency review & validate their claims of a reported 64% good or excellent & on down the line on their acclaimed percentages.Think a bit of audit & validate accurate facts & reports is called for here. If there's smoke screens that keep the consumer in the dark too long, exposure & the truth is inevitable.
Brian Ginna October 06, 2011 at 03:03 PM
CCWD is easily the best run agency on the Coastside. Their budgets are clear and concise, with all details laid out. Karin's claim just is not true at all. My guess is Karin just does not understand the numbers.
Karin Meiswinkel October 06, 2011 at 08:28 PM
Hmmm....quite a " jump right out" there very defensive line by Brian. I wouldn't call it a claim as it's simply lip service verbiage given to hyperbole, with nothing concrete to back it up.As noted in the article above in The Patch, 84% of the survey participants were "unclear" as to where & how the District spent it's money.Guess it's not apparent to the majority of the paying consumers how publicly clear, concise, & well run the agency really is or we're just ignorant & can't discern what should be so honestly clear & just buy it. My guess is this subject hits quite close to home for Brian for some undetected reason?
Brian Ginna October 06, 2011 at 08:41 PM
Nope, not close. Just here to rebut unsubstantiated claims about anyone being "in the dark." I think the Directors and Staff have done a great job with what they have to deal with (as opposed to folks like MWSD and GSD who waste money hand over fist). You need to do some homework - look at some agendas, budgets, staff reports. Then get back to us with your questions.
Karin Meiswinkel October 07, 2011 at 06:56 PM
"Unclear" & "in the dark" are quite synonymous last time I checked.The Survey has spoken, yes, let's make public, some audits, expense accounts, funding & it's distribution, etc. Agendas, budgets, staff reports are created "inhouse" & often don't tell the real facts or truth, given how they need to appear for the record.Pointing fingers at others who allegedly "waste money hand over fist" is a thinly veiled way of diverting the focus from the issue at hand.They're not part of the referenced Survey or discussion here.Just exactly who is "us", Brian? Quite possibly speaking to an entity inside the walls who makes randomn unsupported statements with a defensive posture is not my idea of obtaining the true facts and answers to what is "unclear" by 84 percentile in the Survey. I am growing weary of this daily Merry Go Round of vacuous rhetoric. Enough said...Your approach is of no value to my concerns, nor those of many local paying customers. Try doing some "homework" in Public Relations & waste someone else's time.You seem to have a lot of it, I don't..enough.
Brian Ginna October 07, 2011 at 09:30 PM
As I suspected, a lot of howl and no bite. You just cannot come up with anything concrete, can you? You mentioning "rhetoric" is quite ironic. Move along.
Karin Meiswinkel October 08, 2011 at 04:39 PM
Last pathetic "cheap shot" not the least bit impressive Brian! Thought you were capable of more integrity & concern for the consumer. All nebulous hot air trying to be condescending to make yourself appear creditable. Mission unaccomplished.
Brian Ginna October 10, 2011 at 02:45 PM
Irony certainly is lost on you.


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