YOLO COUNTY NEWS
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Bob Dunning

Bob Dunning: The earth moved and the water (bill) parted

By From page A2 | May 24, 2013

EARTHQUAKE ALERT … although 99.9 percent of Davisites claim to have felt last night’s Susanville-centered earthquake, in actuality only those Davisites who happened to be in Susanville felt it …

And while there was much giggling all around and a few “where were you when the earthquake struck?” conversations, it wasn’t funny in East Davis, which was leveled … damages in the hundreds of dollars …

SPEAKING OF EARTHQUAKES … the last earthquake I actually felt was the 1989 Loma Prieta jolt that hit just as I was settling into the press box at Candlestick Park for Game 3 of the Bay Bridge Series … since that time, at least a million people have claimed to have been there, even if seating capacity at Candlestick is considerably less than a million …

All I know is that I looked out to center field and it appeared that restless baseball fans were doing the wave while waiting for the game to begin … that quake, by the way, was also felt in Davis, though damage was nil …

I AM NOT A CROOK … I thought the days of turning on the TV and seeing senior government officials take the Fifth Amendment were long gone … guess I was wrong …

FLOURIDE FOLLIES … I was intrigued by the letter to the editor that claims ingesting fluoride “can affect the developing brain and can lower intelligence in children.” … given that we have far too many gifted and talented Davis schoolchildren for the spaces available in the program formerly known as GATE, a little intelligence-lowering fluoride in the schoolyard drinking fountain may provide just the solution we’re seeking …

DOUBLE THE TROUBLE … not only has the city decided to triple our water rates, it now plans to bill us monthly, allegedly so our fiscally irresponsible citizens can better meet their monthly budgets … I am not making this up … the city claims this new and improved billing system has nothing at all to do with trying to soften the sticker shock from our skyrocketing water costs by simply slicing the bill in half and mailing it twice as often, but I’m not buying it …

If the cost of water continues its dramatic rise, the day is coming when they’ll decide to bill us weekly or maybe even daily … hey, it’s only 10 bucks a day, they’ll say … which sure beats $300 a month or $600 every other month …

However, according to Tom Sakash’s fact-packed front-pager, “In order to bill monthly for water — in addition to waste removal and wastewater utility services — the city must double what it budgets and spends on manual meter reading.” … given that the city will one day soon be charging six times as much for “summer” water as for “winter” water, it will be essential that our meters are not only read accurately, but on a timely basis …

Currently, with water rates consistent throughout the year, it doesn’t really matter if the meter reading is a few days off, just as long as it’s a two-month period … but trust me, if the meter for October (summer) water use is read seven or eight days into November (winter), you’ll be able to hear the howls of protest from here to Red Bluff …

SPEAKING OF METER READERS … the City Council approved a $370,000, two-year contract for meter-reading services, nearly double what it pays now … which seems silly … after all, this is an intelligent town made up of basically honest citizens … just teach us how to read the meter by ourselves and we’ll write our checks accordingly … boom, $370,000 saved …

— Reach Bob Dunning at [email protected]

Bob Dunning

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