On October 1, 2017 Pastor Glenn Berteau took a few minutes from Sunday’s service to introduce lay pastor Stu Gilman and to ask for the congregations’ support and vote for Stu Gilman. Pastor Berteau reminded the congregation that Stu is a personal friend of his and a friend of The House along with being a board member of The House. Stu made a promise to the congregation that day. He said for years they had been overpaying for electricity and he would get them a rebate based on how much money they had spent on electricity.
Stu was subsequently elected to the Modesto Irrigation District Board and MID was facing a law suit from ratepayers. He and the rest of the MID Board decided to commission a Cost of Service Study from Bartle Wells Associates and MRW & Associates to defend against the pending lawsuit.
Now to the meat and potatoes. The ‘report’ basically said apples were oranges and up is down. It’s an agreed upon fact the water delivery side was facing a $17 Million shortfall every year. And the electric ratepayers have been overcharged to pay for steeply discounted electric rates to large companies (read below cost in some cases), to pay for the water losses and to buy a percentage in the natural gas powered Lodi plant. The Lodi plant is where their profits come from and are called ‘discretionary funds’ by the report. The report states if MID’s Board has a policy they can point to that allows them to spend the discretionary funds as they see fit, that could include cars, boats. subsidizing farmers and large businesses including Gallo.
Stu Gilman and the rest of the Board voted to support the report and if it holds up in court it removes any possibility for the congregation and quite honestly the rest of us ratepayers to not only get a rebate but to get an even break in MID’s repressive rate structure. So when the rubber met the road Stu supported MID and abandoned his congregation and the rest of the ratepayers. Stu had his chance to stand up and keep his word to us but he showed his true colors and instead became just another one of them. We had hope and gave him rope, and look what he did with it.
One of the issues is the essence of religion is submission to authority and for supporting Stu Gilman, Pastor Glenn must accept some responsibility for the outcome. People expect their Pastors, Ministers, Priests, and Spiritual Advisers to look out for their best interests when they demonstrate their support for candidates or ballot measures from the pulpit. As happens often in life the people that need the breaks the most get screwed but when it happens to you, by the leaders of your church, you should be asking questions. Lots of questions.
And your belief in their answers is discretionary.