Friday, December 26, 2014

Bob Dunning: Water rates may be back on the table


From page A2 | May 21, 2014 |

RATE REVIEW IN ORDER … apparently, certain members of our City Council have heard enough complaints about our new water rates that they’re calling for a wide-open council discussion of the issue next Tuesday (May 27), the final meeting before the June 3 election … whether or not this is an attempt to defuse Measure P, which calls for a repeal of the water rates that went into effect on May 1 of 2013, remains to be seen …

No matter the motive, both Councilman Brett Lee and Councilman Lucas Frerichs have formally requested that this item be agendized for the May 27 meeting … what is known is that a small, but dedicated group of Davis activists has been working behind the scenes to put together a revised water rate structure that both the council and the town can get behind, no matter what happens with Measure P on June 3 …

Lee is specifically requesting “the ability to discuss the rates, the rate structure, and possibly requesting a new 218 process; pretty much the full monty.” … fully monty or not, any sort of discussion is welcome, even at this late date … hopefully, the rest of the council will get on board and agree to hold an open and honest, no-holds-barred discussion of a rate structure that continues to confound, confuse and concern a great number of Davis residents …

GETTING TECHNICAL … I absolutely loved the Sunday op-ed that tried in vain to convince wary, weary voters that the new water rates are the best thing to hit Davis since they painted the water tank … I especially liked the part where the author claims that “Some concerns raised have taken CBFR numbers out of context.” … don’t know who he’s talking about, but the numbers are what they are and they’re out there for everyone to review until the cows come home …

The author then adds that “It is technically true that summer water consumption under CBFR will cost almost $8 per ccf in 2018.” … not sure what he means by “technically” … how about “actually” or “in fact” or “to be honest,” … but “technically”? … are we supposed to believe they are actually something else, but somehow soared to $8 per ccf on some sort of technicality? …

For the record, summer water consumption in 2018 will cost you $7.80 per ccf, so “technically,” the author’s assumption was very close to reality … but remember, “summer,” according to the city’s crack meteorologist, lasts six months around here under the CBFR … if you thought you would be paying these costs for just three months, think again …

EVEN MORE RATE CLARIFICATION … in the Sample Ballot’s “Argument Against Measure P,” authored by all five City Council members, the claim is made that “In Davis, approximately two-thirds of residential ratepayers will pay less under the new rate structure than they would have under a rate structure like the one we used to have.” … if that statement makes you think that two-thirds of Davis ratepayers will actually see their bills go down, you are not alone … if you read that same statement three or four times and still come to the conclusion that for many people rates will be going down, you are not alone …

For the record, no one’s rates are going down unless you move out of town … by 2018 you’ll be paying $7.80 per ccf for summer water use compared to $1.50 per ccf under the old rates … any way you do the math, that amounts to over five times as much as you used to pay …

FORMER MAYOR HAS A STORY TO TELL … happy to see that former Mayor Jerry Adler will be the keynote speaker at Monday’s annual Memorial Day ceremony at the Davis Cemetery … Jerry’s military story is a moving and compelling one … in fact, his whole life story is compelling … if you have the time Monday morning, Jerry has a story worth hearing …

— Reach Bob Dunning at





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