Friday, August 29, 2014

Bob Dunning: Council has some water rates cleanup to do


From page A2 | December 27, 2012 |

BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD … a couple of problems have surfaced with the water rate structure the Davis City Council approved several weeks ago as part of the Prop. 218 process … turns out the actual rates the council was presented in making its decision were in error … a stunning development, to be sure, considering how long the council, staff, consultants and the community at large have been studying this thing …

Also, when the council voted to utilize the more familiar Bartle/Wells rate structure for two years, then switch to the novel and much-less-familiar consumption-based fixed rate structure for the last three years, it intended to give all ratepayers two full summers of a “trial run” before going to the CBFR, much of which is based on summer water usage … the council’s clear intent, obvious from its long discussion of the issue, was that two full “practice” summers — 2013 and 2014 — would give everyone a chance to adjust to the new and decidedly different CBFR rate structure …

In voting for this so-called 2/3 concept, however, the council inadvertently set a Jan. 1, 2015, start date for the CBFR rates, which would mean the summer of 2014 would no longer be a dry run since CBFR rates are based on the previous summer’s water usage … the council thus passed a resolution that basically contradicts itself … presumably, all this will be cleaned up when the council gets back to work come January …

WATER CZAR … my friend John suggests Hall of Fame math teacher Joanne Moldenhauer should be named the Davis city water czar to decide once and for all which rates are fair and which ones aren’t … I second the nomination … as a former student of this beloved Davis High mentor, I agree with John’s assessment that “Joanne Moldenhauer has a long, impeccable, skilled and highly regarded track record in mathematics. And, as an iron-fisted ruler of the classroom. Her word would be law.” … hail to the chief …

TICKETING SANTA … yesterday we presented the sad but true case of the Real Santa Claus being ticketed for parking too long in downtown Davis during the Davis Odd Fellows’ hugely popular “Breakfast with Santa” event … for shame … and while the Odd Fellows rightly fixed things up by paying for Santa’s ticket, plus those of an elf and a photographer who also were ticketed, one wonders if Santa will ever return to our humble town …

Well, along comes Christian — an appropriate name for the season — with a solution … turns out Christian is back in town for Christmas and has a suggestion for the old hometown … “I was in Manhattan Beach last week,” he writes, “and would you believe it, the city there had put red cloth bags over every parking meter with ‘Happy Holidays from the City of Manhattan Beach and the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce. Free parking.” … wow, why didn’t we think of that first in the City of All Things Right and Relevant? … aren’t we supposed to be the world leader in just about everything? …

“I took advantage,” Christian adds … “So cool.” … indeed, cooler than a foggy December night in Davis … “Downtown Manhattan Beach was teeming with shoppers, maybe because of the free parking, maybe not, but certainly not in spite of it. Maybe we could try something like that here. Maybe The Enterprise can send you on a fact-finding field trip to Manhattan Beach next year and you can write it up.” …

A splendid idea, Christian … and then I could go to the other Manhattan and see how they do things on the East Coast, and finish up with a visit to Little Manhattan in Kansas to see if they ticket Dorothy and Toto when they’re Christmas shopping … I’m working up my expense voucher even as we speak …

— Reach Bob Dunning at





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