SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — Public Utilities Department officials say they have made major changes in wake of last year’s high water bill scandal. On Wednesday morning, a meeting was held between PUD officials and an audit committee. This comes after an audit showed that 2,000 water bills sent to San Diego residents last year were incorrect.
Public Works Deputy COO, Johnnie Perkins says those billing issues have been resolved.
In addition, the department says the have worked through 80 percent of the recommendations listed on the audit, including monitoring customer complaints more closely, establishing new guidelines for employee performance, and improving communication between managers and employees.
Last year, News 8 responded to several viewer complaints about high water bills, but the bills weren't the only issue.
A separate audit was done related to the issue of a backlog of more than 25,000 broke water meter boxes and lids. PUD officials maintain, they have made improvements in that area as well.
Dwayne Harvey, who used to oversee the handling of broken boxes and lids, says he tried telling his superiors about the lack of resources years ago, but nothing got done. Harvey has since been let go.
"I had no crew. I had no infrastructure. I had not equipment, no trucks, no nothing," said Harvey. "I cam today because I'm tired of all the lies."
Local 127 Union President Rodney Fowler agrees with needing more resources. As for the audit, he's critical with some of the recommendations and how they are being carried out.
"They're being implemented from the top down without feedback from the men and women in the field," said Fowler.
PUD officials admit it's a work in progress that city officials, including Councilmember Scott Sherman, are keeping track of.
"So far, I like the direction we're going," said Sherman. "But we're going to keep our eye on things because government can get complacent real quick."