Thursday, December 25, 2014

Bob Dunning: Need a lawn sign? Copy the design


From page A2 | February 06, 2013 |

IMITATION IS THE HIGHEST FORM OF FLATTERY … my friend Dennis in Extreme North Davis (OK, Woodland) enclosed photographic images of both a “Yes on I” sign and a “No on I” sign and asked “I wonder who copied who?” … hoo copied hoo? … sounds like a burrowing owl to me … Dennis’ question is a common one and makes me wonder if the same company was hired to craft both signs and decided to save money on the design … indeed, save for the words “Yes” and “No,” the signs are nearly identical … if you want to check them side by each for yourself, head over to the Old George’s Corner where L Street bumps into the railroad tracks and there are “Yes” and “No” signs close enough to shake hands …

As for Dennis’ question about which came first, the “Yes” or the “No,” clearly it had to be “Yes” … the folks who crafted Measure I are all “Yes” folks, and the “No” contingent sprung up afterward in an attempt to defeat the project … case solved …

CITY ABANDONS NEUTRALITY … got my supposedly neutral “Rate and Fee Increases” brochure from the city of Davis in the mail late last week, all paid for, of course, with your tax dollars and my tax dollars … since public money is involved, the brochure is supposed to be simply explanatory and not take sides … the city fails dramatically in this regard when it claims “The City has developed an innovative water rate structure designed to give property owners more control over water bills” …

Actually, just the opposite is true … under our current pay-as-you-go system, if your water bill is too high, you can immediately adjust your water use — or at least try to — and your very next water bill will reflect your efforts … that is the ultimate in “control” … under the city’s new “innovative” rate structure, if you had a bad month or a bad summer, you will be locked into a rate based on that usage for an entire year … or if you have a great summer, you’ll be locked into that rate for an entire year … in any regard, it doesn’t give you more “control” than the current system …

Conservation works best when it’s relatively immediate … like when that sky-high PG&E bill arrives in July and you shut off the air conditioner in August … having to wait a full year to realize the fruits of your conservation is not a strong selling point … and in any regard, when the city is using our tax dollars, it’s not supposed to take sides, especially with an election looming …

WORD FROM THE UNWASHED MASSES … Jodi on the Mahogany Street likes her water rates simple … “What is wrong with these people?” she asks … “Without a new water rate that simply charges me per gallon for all my usage, I’m voting ‘No’ on Measure I.” … Jodi speaks for many when she says it’s hard for her to evaluate the merits or demerits of the water project itself until they straighten out a clearly flawed rate structure … adds Jodi: “Fair is fair and these rate structures are arrant nonsense as well as somewhat incomprehensible. ‘Consumption-based’ and ‘fixed-rate’ are used together, but they are opposite terms.” … ah, but that’s what makes this system “innovative,” Jodi …

EVEN MORE INNOVATION … Wildhorse William (alliteration his) writes to say his friend Ryan has calculated his future water bills using the city’s “innovative” rate structure and believes they will actually go down once the new rates take effect … William, tell Ryan to stop using his math-challenged brain and go back to his abacus … no one’s rates are going down at any point … you can take that one to the bank … if you have anything left to take to the bank …

— Reach Bob Dunning at



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