We are voting no on Measure I for two reasons. First, the consumption-based fixed rate structure makes no sense to us. Why should the amount of water we used last summer determine the majority (67 percent, as we understand it) of our monthly water bill for the entire next year? Just charge us for what we use each month. That is fair and proportional as required by Proposition 218.
Tiered or not, higher water users should pay more, but based on the month that they use it and not based on some historical record that may be either unreasonably high or low.
Second, we are voting no because, as we understand it, the city has major future investments in wastewater treatment and infrastructure repair. Shouldn’t water, wastewater treatment and infrastructure be studied together, instead of separately? As part of infrastructure spending, why not consider a gray water system, if not for homes, at least for parks, greenbelts and golf courses?
It should also be recognized that some communities are treating/purifying wastewater and recycling it back into their aquifers or reservoirs. (Google “drinking water from wastewater.”) It would seem logical to address the issues of drinking water, wastewater and infrastructure in the aggregate instead of individually as it appears we have been. Why not be innovative with technology instead of a cumbersome, unreasonable, unfair and arcane CBFR rate structure?
The city’s choice to make a Proposition 218 challenge unnecessarily difficult, coupled with the apparent myopic focus on drinking water, leaves us no choice but to vote no on Measure I.
Bob and Irene Holly