Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Bob Dunning: Rancho Yolo homeowners cry foul


From page A2 | February 21, 2013 |

SENIOR MOMENT … we’ve been told over and over and over again that the city’s new and innovative rate structure has been designed to keep costs down for certain groups like fixed-income seniors … well, the folks in the senior-only Rancho Yolo Senior Community are wondering why all 262 homeowners there got left out of the debate … in the council-imposed rate structure that begins just two months down the road, Rancho Yolo households will see their rates jump from $1.42 per ccf to $1.81 per ccf and a year later to a whopping $2.24 per ccf … the rest of Davis’ homeowners will see their ccf rate actually drop from $1.50 to $1.23 come May 1, then rise to $1.53 the next year before the dreaded and radically different consumption-based fixed rate kicks in … worse yet, the esteemed elected representatives who put this rate structure into motion have so far been unable to provide the Rancho Yolo folks with any reasonable explanation for the vast cost discrepancy between their rates and everyone else’s …

THE RESPONSE IS DEAFENING … Jerry Hallee, who serves as president of the Rancho Yolo Community Association, sought answers from the City Council to his group’s singularly dramatic rate increase … the responses were not encouraging … Councilman Brett Lee was stumped, but at least straightforward … “To be honest, I don’t really know why there is a difference,” Lee told Hallee … Councilman Lucas Frerichs was even more blunt … “This change in rates is quite alarming to me,” Frerichs noted … what’s alarming is that none of the council members who voted 5-0 to impose these rates on Rancho Yolo could explain the basis of the increase or why they voted for something they find so alarming in the first place …

Mayor Joe Krovoza did allow that he “will be pleased to take a very hard look at this,” without explaining why the “hard look” wasn’t done prior to the unanimous vote imposing the rates … added the mayor, offering a fig leaf to this cherished and long-standing senior community, “We have created a modest low-income program,” to which Hallee tellingly replied, “We are not looking for low-income relief from the new rates. Rather, we want fair rates that do not require ‘low-income’ relief.” … amen, brother Jerry, amen …

EVEN MORE INTRIGUE … to their credit, our council members did, of course, promise the Rancho Yolo folks that they’d refer it to “staff” promptly and see if one of our well-paid “experts” could come up with some sort of explanation … one council member did tell Hallee that he should have brought his complaint forward long before now, to which Hallee — who seems to always be one step ahead of the competition — responded that the rates weren’t even posted until a couple of weeks ago and his fellow senior homeowners had no reason until then to suspect the city was going to single out Rancho Yolo for special treatment of the negative kind …

ROBO MASTER … got my very own personalized robocall from the Yes on I folks the other day, with a metallic voice that sounded for all the world like C3PO asking me to press 1 if I’m voting “yes,” 2 if I’m voting “no,” 3 if I’m “undecided” and 4 if I’m just the baby-sitter from Willowbank and not eligible to vote at all in this election … the last time the Yes on I folks commissioned a poll, it had a zillion questions and took the entire second half of an NFL game to complete … this one was much quicker and easier … the first poll, which was trumpeted far and wide, claimed that only 11 percent of the population was against the surface water project … it will be interesting to see if that number has changed up or down and how loudly the trumpet will blow this time …

GREAT SHOW, GREAT CAUSE … there’s still time to get tickets for the 21st annual Winter Concert presented by Citizens Who Care, one of the worthy nonprofits serving the citizens of Yolo County … “Yes, Indeed!” features the great songs of Bing Crosby and includes an all-star cast of local favorites such as Stephen Peithman, Joe Alkire, Bob Bowen, Gwyneth Bruch, Martha Dickman, Paul Fearn, Lisa Derthick, Lenore Sebastian, LuAnn Higgs and Jim Nakayama … show times at the Vets’ Memorial are Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. … group rates are available as well … for tickets, call 758-3704 or go to citizenswhocare.us … it’s the best thing going this weekend and always the star of the winter season …

— Reach Bob Dunning at bdunning@davisenterprise.net


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