Water rates are unfair

Please vote yes on Measure P! The CBFR water rates are very unfair and will severely penalize all single-family homeowners and home renters however prudently they use water both for in-home and irrigation purposes. If these rates stand, residents in single-family homes will pay 40 percent more for each gallon of water than apartment owners.

It is no coincidence or secret that the CBFR will impose such high water rates that numerous entities in Davis plan to drill their own wells for irrigation and partially secede from the Davis water system, the result of which will be that water rates will increase substantially for the remaining ratepayers far beyond the acknowledged tripling of rates by 2018.

The architects of the CBFR are fully aware that the structure will penalize even the most prudent home-owning irrigator but they have been disingenuous about the consequences. Many residents of single-family homes with yards will be forced to let their gardens die. Gardening will become a privilege of the rich.

With the CBFR rates, combined with increases in sewage treatment and other fees, Davis will have among the highest municipal utility bills statewide. This is in addition to Davis’ already high supplementary property taxes and yet the city faces a serious structural budget deficit that will result in further tax increases. The effects on the local economy and real estate prices will be highly deleterious. Who will want to buy a house in Davis if they have any choice?

Finally, we should deplore the blatant and shameless scaremongering of Herb Niederberger, general manager of utilities, that have no legal or logical basis. If Measure P passes, there will be no awful consequences. Not even leading opponents of P have argued this in their ballot statement or elsewhere. Instead, as City Attorney Harriet Steiner has made clear, within 45 days the city can hold another Proposition 218 election. A much fair water rate structure based on some kind of system of tiers (as is used almost everywhere else), and equal per-gallon water charges for all, can then be voted upon.

Dan Cornford

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