Wednesday, September 17, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Bob Dunning: Something doesn’t add up here

BobDunning2W

By
From page A2 | March 28, 2014 |

Every now and then I receive an actual old-fashioned letter in the mail from a real person with a real stamp and delivered by a real employee of the U.S. Postal Service.

It doesn’t happen often, but it’s a complete delight when it does. And given how much effort goes into such correspondence, I take the contents of such a letter very seriously. Especially if the author is critical of something I’ve said or done.

The letter in question came from a kind soul named Herman who lives on the Mollusk Streets in that beautiful Far West Davis development known as Stonegate. I think it takes two stamps to get a letter all the way from Stonegate to my humble dwelling in Olde East Davis, but that didn’t stop Herman.

“Dear Bob Dunning,” Herman begins ominously, sounding more like a fund-raiser than a personal friend.

“I would like to bring to your attention to an interesting city bill generated by a computer of the City of Davis.”

Given that this is a bill and not a summons or a demand for Herman to stop burning Presto Logs on Christmas Eve, it would almost certainly have to be the dreaded “City Services Bill.”

Notes Herman: “Normally, senior citizens do not add up item by item.”

Actually, Herman, nobody does. You get your bill and start looking at all the various things you’re paying for and generally vertigo sets in long before you can add anything up.

“However, if you look at the attached copy of our bill, there is a great discrepancy of the total bill and the items charged.”

You mean the folks at City Hall actually made a mistake? Let me guess, the mistake was in their favor, not yours.

“I hope that this does not mean that we all should be more alert in the future at checking bills from businesses of all kinds, such as bank statements, etc.”

Having never second-guessed my city bill by adding up the seven separate charges that make up the “Total Due,” I figured Herman was just having a bad day with his abacus and the mistake was almost certainly his, not the city’s.

So I took out my magnifying glass to deal with the itty-bitty numbers on Herman’s bill and learned he used 16 ccf of water in the 32-day billing period compared to just 5 ccf last year.

Which makes sense, given how dry it’s been in the last several months as we all watch what’s left of our yards shrivel up and die without our usual rainfall. Either that or Herman spent last year in Palm Springs.

All that water cost Herman $19.68, plus his base monthly charge of $17.33.

Then we get into such things as “sanitation,” “storm sewer” and “sanitary sewer,” and may I suggest it’s probably best at this point to take young children out of the room.

Turns out Herman owes $28.06 for sanitation for his smallish 35-gallon can, plus $4.46 for the storm sewer, a whopping $39.34 for sanitary sewer, a $6.87 municipal service tax and a $5.41 public safety charge.

Herman added those all together and came up with $121.15. The Above-Pictured Columnist added those all together and came up with $121.15.

The city added those all together and came up with “Current Charges” of $146.15, a full $25 more than that it should be.

I have scoured Herman’s bill for the missing 25 dollars, figuring it must be hidden in there somewhere. Try as I might, though, I could find nothing to justify the higher charge.

Even under “previous balance” there are only zeroes. No matter how the numbers add up, the city wants its money and it wants it now.

“10 percent penalty if not paid by 1/27/2014.”

It should read “This bill is free if city doesn’t correct its math by 1/27/2014.”

— Reach Bob Dunning at bdunning@davisenterprise.net

Comments

comments

.

News

 
Rainbow City revival plans, one meeting at a time

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Learn about youth leadership program on Sept. 28

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Sign up now for free Community Yard Sale

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
AAUW hosts conversation with Gilardi

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Master Gardeners will answer questions Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Storyteller will draw on music, dance

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Show off your electric vehicles on Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Sign up soon for a new year of Writing Buddies

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Register to vote by Oct. 20

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Free introductory yoga, chanting workshop offered

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Saylor meets constituents at Peet’s

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Rotary seeks project requests

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

.

Forum

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

 
Mental-health treatment lacking

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Braly’s column lightens the heart

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Bicycle bells needed for safety

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Are we going to wait until someone here dies?

By Rich Rifkin | From Page: A6

 
Firefighters went above, beyond

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Grocery bags are biohazards

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Can’t we work collaboratively?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Please vaccinate your children

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
.

Sports

Devils go the distance to triumph at Chico

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
UCD women take third at elite golf event

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Aggie men stay in 10th to finish St. Mary’s Invite

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Formidable UCD defense melts Hornets

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Sounders win U.S. Open Cup in overtime

By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B2

 
AYSO roundup: Ultra Violet illuminates a victory

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Diamondbacks slam Giants

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Baseball roundup: Peavy, Posey lead Giants past Arizona

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Legacy roundup: Gunners get a win over Woodland

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Alliance roundup: Soccer success comes on the road and at home

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
.

Features

Name Droppers: Bamforth leads international brewing institute

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Name Droppers: UC Davis announces eight new fellows

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

Just desserts? A sweet treat is worth the effort

By Julie Cross | From Page: A10

 
.

Arts

Apply now for Davis Community Idol

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Nine Davis artists chosen to show in KVIE Art Auction

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Sacred Harp singers will gather

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Classic ‘Hello, Dolly!’ wows at Woodland Opera House

By Bev Sykes | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Davis students prepare dishes for Empty Bowls fundraiser

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics