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Bob Dunning

Bob Dunning: PG&E takeover makes many uneasy

By From page A2 | April 02, 2014

POWER TO THE PEOPLE … if you are just a bit uneasy about our cash-strapped city’s million-dollar feasibility study concerning the public takeover of PG&E, you are not alone … reading the front page of the paper can be downright confusing these days … on the one hand, the city is apparently rolling in cash as it tosses hundreds of thousands of dollars out the window on a mere “study” of a power takeover … but if you’re reading another story, it sounds as if the city is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy and only a dramatic sales tax increase can get us out of the financial ICU and back to fiscal solvency …

Now, if an armed takeover of PG&E can lower rates all over town, it’s money well spent, but I sometimes fear that our esteemed leaders want to do this simply so they can brag that we’re the “greenest” city in the country, cost be damned … the mayor says it’s not so …

“If we learn there’s not a benefit to the community or much of a benefit to the community, we will change course,” Joe Krovoza told The Enterprise’s Dave Ryan a while back … let’s hope that turns out to be the case … and if the city does decide this takeover is feasible, let’s hope it does away with PG&E’s onerous and punitive tiered rate structure that is driving some young families out of town ….

A VOICE IN THE WILDERNESS … my friend Stephen’s take on the power takeover is that “if owning our own utility is a good idea, an entrepreneur would have done it already. If an evil, profit-driven person won’t do it, it is probably a money loser.” … we shall see, but I do have to admit that “DUD” (Davis Utility District) does have a nice ring to it … or, as many in our town are already calling it, DOA …

ON THE MONEY … I’m not paid to agree with editorials appearing in The Davis Enterprise, but I saved and taped to the bathroom mirror the “Our View” piece several weeks back on the proposed power grab … put simply, it nailed the very concerns I’m hearing over and over again from the good citizens of this town when it said “Now is not the time to take on another huge project,” adding “We have enough on our plate as it is.” … actually, make that way more than enough on our plate … you can’t fit that many competing items on your plate even at the Cache Creek Casino buffet …

EVEN MORE WORDS OF WISDOM … I’m also not paid to agree with op-ed pieces penned by members of the Davis Chamber of Commerce … but there it sits, sharing space on the bathroom mirror with the aforementioned Enterprise editorial, printed on the same day … perfectly stated, it said: “What family plans a new backyard swimming pool while they’re three months behind on the mortgage?” … answer: a family heading for bankruptcy court …. time for this city to get its fiscal house in order before attempting a public mugging of PG&E …

THE READERS ALWAYS WRITE … Clay at yahoo.com says he took down his Christmas tree and tossed it in the gutter the day after Groundhog Day … some sort of a family tradition, I guess … “And then it started raining.” … and your point is? … “Tossed Christmas trees may be the cause of climate change. What do you think? Can I get a grant to study this?” … I suspect you can, Clay … I’ll contact the chancellor at the nearby major research university and see if she has some grant money lying around unused under her mattress …

— Reach Bob Dunning at [email protected]

Bob Dunning

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