GSW’s golden goose

Golden State Water and its parent American States Water Co. are reluctant to transfer ownership to the city of Claremont because present arrangements guarantee high profits for their shareholders and high compensation for their senior executives.

Quarter after quarter, year after year, their annual reports and press releases crow about improved net income: 16 percent higher than the previous year for the second quarter of 2012, and almost 20 percent higher for the third quarter. Bloomberg news cites a 33 percent climb in profits in the first quarter of 2013, “helped by higher tariffs.”

Net income for American States Water improved over 18 percent last year, to $54 million, while its earnings per share grew almost 27 percent. Claremont’s proposed price for the local water company is less than one year of the parent company’s profits. Golden State claims that supplying water is “what we’re all about,” but ASWC/GSWC is all about money.

Public records reveal that their CEO Robert Sprowls received $1,905,799 total compensation in 2012, and the hard-working Denise Kruger, who blew dust at a Claremont audience this week, made $588,092. This a golden goose that they do not want to take to market.

David Cressy