Rates are hard to swallow

By From page A18 | March 03, 2013

This writer concludes that Davis will have to build a water supply/improvement project sooner or later to comply with state wastewater discharge standards. There is no getting around this fact but one has to laugh out loud when reading the objections to higher rates that have been raised by the Democrats and so-called “progressives” who voted year after year for the politicians who adopted the clean water laws that provoked the current situation. What did they expect? That clean water improvements would be made at no cost to them?

It is one thing to acknowledge the need for a project, on the one hand, but swallow whole the insane water rate structure that is proposed to pay for it. There is nothing in AB 2882 that endorses or even suggests using the rate basing scheme adopted by the Davis City Council. After scores of op-eds, taxpayers are no closer to getting an explanation as to how the rates were determined and how they would work. Just try to use the bill estimation tool on the city website. It is a mess.

The situation is even worse. By all accounts, City Council members and city staff still can’t explain how the rate structure works. As far as all of this goes, the council and staff are inept and derelict in their duty to understand what it is they endorse.

The final insult is the report that various trade unions, dominated by Democrats, are sending money to the Measure I campaign. So, considering the Democrat-dominated composition of the advisory committee and the City Council, things are beginning to add up. It is a certainty that the cost of the proposed project will exceed its budget due to all of the usual factors affecting major capital projects, including the requirement that so-called “prevailing wages” be paid to union workers, thus needlessly inflating project costs.

Because Measure I isn’t a vote on the rate structure itself, I have no choice but to vote no.

Curt Miller

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