Willowbank has little voice

By From page A10 | February 15, 2013

Voters in the city of Davis have two methods to register their disapproval of the complicated increased water rates. One method is to sign a no on the ballot and mail it back. Additionally, sending a written protest to the city clerk confirms disapproval of the water rate increase under Proposition 218.

I encourage a no vote on Measure I for many reasons: lack of conservation measures, unfair rates, the questionable future of river water, purchase of a water plant that in 25 years will be outdated because of rapid changes in technology. In my neighborhood, we don’t get to vote.

Old Willowbank is a neighborhood outside the city consisting of more than 100 homes. The neighborhood is old, with a beautiful and rural landscape. When this area was developed, each block had its own well. The neighborhood elected to purchase water from the city approximately 10 years ago due to fire concerns, constantly changing water regulations and legal issues. (In hindsight, we made a mistake not keeping the wells for irrigation.)

With Measure I, my rates would go from approximately $87 per month to $357 (using the city calculator). The irony of this water project is that it is driven by “dirty wastewater” and because we are on septic systems. Old Willowbank doesn’t contribute to the “dirty wastewater.” We don’t receive any reduction in water rates. Also, we cannot vote on Measure I because we are not in the city limits.

So, Old Willowbankers, the only way to register your disapproval is under Proposition 218. Turn in your letter of disapproval to the Davis city clerk. Instructions are on the last page of the document sent by the city regarding the rate increases. Beware: Not sending in a letter of disapproval is considered an agreement to the increased rates. So write those letters.

Katie Flaherty

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