Penal Code Section 925, authorizes the Grand Jury to review the operations of the Amador County Public Works Agency.
The Public Works Agency (PWA) is responsible for planning, constructing, operating and maintaining the County's roads and several water and wastewater systems owned by the County. The PWA's Road Department maintains approximately 410 miles of County roads. Water and wastewater activities are organized under independent County Service Areas (CSA), each of which is a separate entity, owned by the County, but self-supported financially from revenues generated by the system's customers. A brief description of each CSA is given below:
Because it touches the lives of every resident of the County, the Public Works Agency is one of the most important elements of County Government. All who live in the County are impacted in some way by the activities of the PWA, whether it be driving on County roads, drinking water supplied by the CSAs, or having snow plowed to enable one to travel safely in winter. The PWA is also one of the Counties largest agencies in terms of staff and budget. The 27 employees of the PWA are exceeded only by the Sheriff's Department and the Department of Social Services, while the PWA budget of $ 3,696,721 is topped by only the Sheriff's Department. It is for these reasons that the 1999-2000 Grand Jury elected to review the Public Works Agency.
The Grand Jury review of the PWA extended over a period of about seven months during which time more than 25 individuals were interviewed, all the water and wastewater facilities were visited, and literally hundreds of documents were examined. In short, all aspects of the agency's management and operations were investigated. During the course of that review, it was concluded that the PWA has serious management and operational problems, many of which need immediate attention. Because the problems are so widespread, it was difficult to present them under a single heading. Therefore, background information, facts, conclusions and recommendations are presented separately for each of the following four subjects: