Letters to the Editor

PUD, not Wall Street

At the League of Women Voters forum in Coupeville the Puget Sound Energy executive was asked what sort of compensation they, the executives, would receive as a result of the Macquarie takeover. He stated that he didn't know. The "Yes on Whidbey PUD" group stated that they had looked up the answer to this question and it was $57 million divided among the six officers listed on the

PSE handout. This is in addition to the 50 percent increase in the stock price of $21 to Macquarie's offer of $30 per share. PSE did not dispute any of these figures during the chance for rebuttal.

These same six executives received $7,588,727 in salary and stock awards in 2006 and $10,246,463 in 2007, according to the PSE handout.

None of this money goes toward needed maintenance or the purchase of electricity but it does give the motives behind the push to sell the company to foreign investors. The fact that Skagit County, Jefferson County, and Whidbey Island (Camano Island is already under a PUD) are trying to form PUDs and break away from PSE control is no surprise. What is amazing is the fact that Eastern King County is not trying to form a PUD ... yet.

PSE records the value of their assets on Whidbey Island as $41 million on their property taxes. They now are saying the PUD would need $120 million to purchase their assets. Doesn't this mean there are some back taxes owed? The true value will be between these numbers and will be paid for with a 30 year bond. The bond payments will show up on your power bill but will be offset somewhat by the fact that PUDs have some access to cheaper Bonneville hydropower and that you no longer have to pay these corporate salaries, merger bonuses, perks or dividends to the shareholders.

I, for one, am tired of these "Wall Street" schemes and think we would be better served with our own crews on the Island.

Stephen Swanson


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