Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Bob Dunning: Friends, Davisites, countrymen, lend me your ears


From page A2 | November 20, 2012 |

A WACKY PROPOSAL … I come not to bury the Water Advisory Committee, but to praise it … or maybe the other way around … I’m not sure … all I know is the recommendation the WAC made to the City Council about water rates is confusing in the extreme, even in a town where half the town has a Ph.D. and the other half thinks it should …

The plan is one of those only-in-Davis, first-in-the-nation things that makes me wonder if it was adopted for its rationale or simply because it allows our town to stake another claim to worldwide greatness …

I’m not sure I want to be a guinea pig when it comes to the cost of water … my fear is fueled by one committee member who said “This is Davis. This is something for us to do, something innovative, and if someone is going to innovate this type of reform, I think that we should be the ones to do it.” …

With all due respect to innovation and to being first on the planet to institute a water rate structure no one else has dreamed of, I’d much prefer fair and affordable when it comes to my family’s water bill … save your experiments for the Primate Center …

EVEN MORE ON THE WATER PLAN … one huge drawback to the WAC-approved plan the council will now grapple with is that the fixed-rate portion of your bill will be based on the previous year, which significantly discourages conservation because no matter how much you cut back, your rate is based strictly on what you used last year … if you had a particularly bad year water-wise — maybe Grandma and Grandpa came to live with you — you continue to pay a significant penalty for a long period of time …

Worse yet, the plan dramatically reduces the amount of water a household may use before moving into the punitive tier system, where the cost of water spikes considerably … the plan does not take into account household size before beginning the punishment, which is unfair in the extreme …

Simple fairness — not to mention the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution — demands that each citizen of this town should have the right to a basic amount of water for regular daily needs at the exact same price every other citizen of this town is charged …

Tiers, meant to punish water wasters, should never be instituted before household size is taken into account … with the unreasonably low threshold for moving a household into Tier II ratepayers’ hell, large families or those who have taken in foster children or an ailing relative, will automatically be paying more per gallon than their neighbors, no matter how much they conserve …

It makes complete sense that a larger household should have a proportionately larger water bill than a smaller household … what doesn’t make sense is why the larger household also must pay more per gallon than the smaller household … simple fairness says that onerous feature must go …

A GALLON IS A GALLON IS A GALLON … this whole notion of charging one Davis citizen more for the same gallon of water than is charged to another Davis citizen is puzzling at best … last time I went to the gas station, it was nearly 4 bucks a gallon … the attendant didn’t poke his head in the car and say “Oh, you have six kids in there, so it’s 8 bucks a gallon for you.” …

Obviously, if you use more water than your neighbor, you should pay more … if it’s a dollar a gallon and your neighbor uses 2 gallons, he gets charged $2 … if you have a large family or a bunch of houseguests and you use 10 gallons, you get charged $10 …

But this system adds a penalty to the second group, under the presumption that they’re water wasters … and I’d feel this way if I had 10 kids, two kids or no kids at all … a gallon is a gallon … fair is fair … why the different price per gallon depending on the size of your household? … If we use more water, we pay more … and if we use less water, we pay less … just like the way we get charged for bread, butter, milk, gasoline and pot roast …

— Reach Bob Dunning at





Report details the face of hunger in Yolo County

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Summer jobs aren’t always in the bag

By Spencer Ault | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Davis Arts Center gets a new look, thanks to Brooks

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1 | Gallery

More details emerge in Woodland officer shootings

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Bob Dunning: Taking on a Specktacular challenge

By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2 | Gallery

For the record

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

The big moveout, on ‘Davisville’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Sunder campaign will be at Farmers Market

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Classic car show slated in Woodland

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Students can practice safe bike routes to junior highs

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

‘Monsters University’ to be screened in Central Park

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

California regulators approve PG&E rate hike

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

America’s ‘it’ school? Look west, Harvard

By New York Times News Service | From Page: B3

School board preps for new academic year

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A3

Public opinion sought about Nishi Gateway

By Lily Holmes | From Page: A4

Davis Art Garage honored; bench dedication set

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8 | Gallery

Woodland historical award winners announced

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8



Can’t understand this change

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

Delta-friendly water bond is a win for all of California

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Bravo! The road diet works

By Rich Rifkin | From Page: A6

Support water bond in November

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Relay for Life team says thanks

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6



Aggie QB is back to pass … Touchdown, Tina! Tina?

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Hard hoops schedule features defending national champs at UCD

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Crisp’s big hit helps A’s

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

UCD roundup: Aggie gymnasts are awesome at academics

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

Sacramento scores early to snap skid

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

Unplayable? Cubs, rain hand Giants a loss

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8



Food that travels well for cooking out

By Julie Cross | From Page: A5 | Gallery



Crowd funding campaign offers support for Art Theater of Davis

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

Visit Crawfish and Catfish Festival in Woodland

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

Artists invited to paint at Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

Goldberg, Milstein to play at Village Homes

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

The voice on the CD comes alive at Music Together concert

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7





Railroad museum will host Aberbach memorial

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4



Comics: Wednesday, August 20, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6