Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Bob Dunning: Sifting through Prop. 218 garbage


From page A2 | August 18, 2013 |

I’ve heard people describe our increasingly popular “fee protest hearings” as an election, and if that’s truly the case, circle Sept. 24 on your calendar as the date of the next city of Davis election.

Will Joe Krovoza or Dandy Dan Wolk be on the ballot? Maybe Rochelle Swanson, Brett Lee or Lucas Frerichs? Well, not exactly. But one of their decisions will be.

No, it won’t be our fancy new water rates we’re “voting” on or our snazzy new surface water project or even the proposal to save the poor folks of East Davis from tooth decay by fluoridating every drop of water in the entire town. But we will be “voting,” as some people claim.

The issue this time is garbage, specifically the rates we are charged for the excellent curbside service provided to us each and every week by the good folks at Davis Waste Removal. The fees, however, are paid to the city, which has a contract with DWR.

Now, there apparently are some democratically oriented provisions to the voter-approved Proposition 218 that has been the law of the land in California for some years now. The fee “protest” provision is not among them.

According to the notice sent out to all ratepayers by the Public Works Department of the city of Davis, “Any property owner whose property is to be subject to the proposed increases to the solid waste service fees may submit a written protest to the proposed fee increases; provided, however, only one protest will be counted per identified parcel.”

In other words, if you and your dearly beloved differ or agree in your reaction to the proposed garbage fees, only one of you is allowed to protest. No exceptions.

But wait, there’s more.

“Any protest must: 1) state that the identified property owner is in opposition to the proposed fee increases; 2) provide the location of the identified parcel (by assessor’s parcel number or street address); and 3) include the name and signature of the property owner submitting the protest.”

Actual voting was never this hard. In fact, if you had to jump through this many hoops to vote in a general election, the U.S. Supreme Court would have invalidated this law long ago.

If you think we’re done with the rules and regulations and restrictions, we’re not.

“If the person submitting the written protest is the owner of record but was not shown on Yolo County’s last equalized assessment roll as the property owner, that person must provide written evidence that the person is the property owner.”

At this point, you’d have to be really, really, really upset with the new rates to even bother with any of this.

And just in case you were wondering if there’s a way to make filing a protest a little easier “Any protest submitted via email or other electronic means will not be accepted.”

Furthermore, in order for the protest to be valid, you’re asked to “Please identify on the front of the envelope for any protest, whether mailed or submitted in person to the City Clerk, Attn: Public Hearing on Rate Increases.”

And, what does Prop. 218 require you to do if you wish to vote “yes” on the new rates? Absolutely nothing. Indeed, you can do no more than sit in your Barcalounger watching “Sports Center” and still have a “yes” vote tallied in your name.

How that constitutes a fair fight has yet to be determined.

“The City Council will consider all written protests and hear and consider all oral arguments to the proposed rate increases and annual rate adjustments at the Public Hearing.”

“Consider all oral arguments?” The Davis City Council? Sure it will.

And the Tooth Fairy is going to leave 20 bucks under my pillow tonight, too.

— Entries to the Contest to Replace the Above-Pictured Columnist are due Tuesday, Sept. 3, at midnight. Entries may be about any subject and should be between 400 and 800 words in length. Entries, including daytime and evening phone numbers, a brief biography of the author, and a mug shot suitable for publication, can be emailed to bdunning@davisenterprise.net.





Davis is not immune: Are you ready for a big quake?

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Planning begins for Davis Neighbors’ Night Out

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1

Sword-attack suspect awaiting trial in Davis

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

6 militants killed in U.S. strike in Somalia

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

San Francisco is first to test urban farming law

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Learn about RNA at Science Café

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Google Glass will be discussed, demonstrated

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Tickets still available for DHS Hall of Fame dinner

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Cuddle up at Project Linus’ meeting

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Public opinion sought about Nishi Gateway

By Lily Holmes | From Page: A3

International folk dancing offered Sundays

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Got bikes? Donate ‘em!

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Rose garden bricks to be dedicated Saturday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

It’s About Time plays Davis Farmers Market’s Picnic in the Park

By Anthony Siino | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Register year-round at Davis Chinese School

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8



Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A4

Have the facts before you judge

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Tesla has state walking a tightrope

By Tom Elias | From Page: A4

Special-needs passengers ignored

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A4

A cure for Davis’ problems

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A4

A good use for the MRAP

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A4

Marriage vs. male instinct

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5



DHS boys looking to replicate a big cross country performance

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Life without MacDonald starts Friday for DHS

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Clark recalls his hole-in-one — the first at Davis Golf Course

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Fruits of their Labor Day

By Sue Cockrell | From Page: B1 | Gallery

UCD roundup: Aggies edge Quinnipiac in overtime

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

Sports briefs: Hot Shots basketball tryouts coming up

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

Baseball roundup: Aces end River Cats’ season

By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B3

Junior Blue Devils strong in home debut, winning 3 on the field

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery









Elaine Dracia Greenberg

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5



Comics: Tuesday, September 2, 2014 (set 1)

By Creator | From Page: B5

Comics: Tuesday, September 2, 2014 (set 2)

By Creator | From Page: B7