Sunday, April 19, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Plaintiffs, city may meet to settle water rates lawsuit

By
From page A1 | August 07, 2014 |

Plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the city of Davis over its past water rates, sewer rates and related issues announced Wednesday that the two sides will meet in a settlement conference this month.

Members of Yolo Ratepayers for Affordable Public Utility Services sued the city in 2013, claiming Davis’ consumption-based water rates — which were overturned by Measure P in June — were illegal and disproportionate.

Yolo Superior Court Judge Dan Maguire ruled in the city’s favor in January on major aspects of the case, but significant sections of the Yolo Ratepayers’ lawsuit remain to be settled. These are principally sections pertaining to the city using water and sewer services without paying for them, plaintiffs say, according to an email from Michael Harrington, a local lawyer, former City Councilman and co-counsel for the plaintiffs.

“Members of YRAPUS look forward to fully exploring settlement options in the context of a formal confidential mediation process,” Harrington said in a statement. “We appreciate the leadership exhibited by Mayor Dan Wolk, his colleagues and City Attorney Harriet Steiner in securing the City Council’s appointment of a settlement subcommittee and establishing this early mediation process.

“The members of YRAPUS are pleased that their efforts have saved over $135 million in ratepayer costs, and hope to continue serving the public’s interests.”

Setting aside the question of who saved whom what money, Steiner said the two parties are working with JAMS, a mediation service that uses retired judges to help negotiate out-of-court resolutions of legal disputes.

“Mediation leaves the decision power totally and strictly with the parties,” a notice on the JAMS website said. “The mediator does not decide what is ‘fair’ or ‘right,’ does not assess blame nor render an opinion on the merits or chances of success if the case were litigated.

“Rather, the mediator acts as a catalyst between opposing interests, attempting to bring them together by defining issues and eliminating obstacles to communication, while moderating and guiding the process to avoid confrontation and ill will. The mediator will, however, seek concessions from each side during the mediation process.”

Steiner said the decision to seek a day of mediation late this month in Sacramento was not ordered by Maguire, but was sought by both parties.

“This is an opportunity for both sides to see if they can reach an agreement that will end the lawsuit,” she said, adding that participation is strictly voluntary for both parties. “If we don’t reach agreement, then we will continue the lawsuit.”

If that happens, trial dates for the remaining causes of action are set for November, Steiner said.

Steiner also said the impetus for the settlement conference came out of the new, largely gallon-by-gallon water rates approved by the City Council. Prop. 218 notices describing the rates should have arrived last week and this week in property owners’ mailboxes. A hearing and protest vote on the rates are scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 16.

Mayor Dan Wolk said the city wants to try to resolve the lawsuit out of court, if it can.

“The city is looking forward to bringing this matter to a conclusion that benefits the city and its ratepayers,” he said in a message. “We want to attempt to resolve this matter so that we can complete the surface water project at the lowest cost to the ratepayers.”

— Reach Dave Ryan at [email protected] or call 530-747-8057. Follow him on Twitter at @davewritesnews

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Aggie Pride on parade at UC Davis Picnic Day

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    City wants a study of sewer rates

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

    Hard-of-hearing student needs community’s help

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

     
    KDVS fund drive includes on-air pledging, plus parties and food

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
     
    Art helped sell California’s agriculture

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Sign up now for Celebrate Davis!

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4Comments are off for this post

    Students, families can get after-hours Internet access

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Lawyers seek resolution to Davis molest case

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4

    Garamendi hosts conference for women

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    ‘Invaluable public servant’ retires after 20 years

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Your brain’s aging and a new report urges ways to stay sharp

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

     
    Injury-proof yourself for effective exercise

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Understanding risks can help women prevent leading health threats

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

     
    Eyewitness speaks about Israel’s election

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

    Free gardening advice offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

     
    Grad Night tickets on sale online

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

     
    Schenker speaks about ‘Magical Mexico’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

    Yolo County DA honors crime victims at annual tribute

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Holman offers Publishing 101 seminar

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

    Radio-controlled airplanes will race April 25-26

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

     
    Vote with your dollars at Davis Food Co-op

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

    Woodland bike rides set every Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

     
    Get some advice at Connections Café

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

    Join the 10,000-vegetable challenge!

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9Comments are off for this post

     
    NAMI group offers family support

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Birding tour will benefit Putah Creek Council

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10 | Gallery

     
    Watershed Wonders activities return to Putah Creek

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    Yolo County Neighborhood Court seeks new volunteers

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    UCD looks at building a better brain as we age

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    ‘Vault’ highlights ‘Kathak’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    Two drought-preparedness water bills pass out of Senate committees

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

    Picnic Day favorites: dogs, bikes science

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A13 | Gallery

     
    Strike up the band, and the bubbles!

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A14 | Gallery

    .

    Forum

    Ready for the parting glass

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
     
    John Cole cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: B6

    Yolo Crisis Nursery still needs help

    By Our View | From Page: B6

     
    Drink up, kids, but make your choice a healthy one

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B6

    Leash your dogs; it’s the law

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

     
    Speak out

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: B7

    Let’s not turn our backs on the Earth

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B7

     
    This Earth Day, make a pledge to cool your home

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B7

    .

    Sports

    Fast Aggie start negated by 14-0 USC lacrosse run

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Stagnant second-half offense sinks Devil girls

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Over the hump? DHS baseball team wins late

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Lambdin, Marshall lead Aggies at Mt. SAC

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Republic FC gets another win at Bonney

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B2

     
    UCD roundup: Aggies sweep a water polo double dip

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Busy Clancy, Hall spark Devil tracksters at Mt. SAC

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Former DHS star Drexel returns to create havoc for Aggies

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B4 | Gallery

    Sports briefs: Blue Devils split a pair of tennis matches

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B14 | Gallery

     
    Pro baseball roundup: Oakland blanks Kansas City

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B14

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Tucos closes; new Japanese, pizza, subs debut

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A12 | Gallery

     
    WISH grant funds available to eligible homebuyers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12

    Marrone Bio Innovations strengthens its sales team

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

     
    New phase opens at Brookfield Cottages

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

    .

    Obituaries

    Jody Zewe

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Herman Timm

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Ruth Rodenbeck Stumpf

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Robert Leigh Cordrey

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Alice Catherine Micheltorena

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, April 19, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8