Friday, December 26, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Water initiative signatures turned in to city

PetitionsW

Davis City Clerk Zoe Mirabile, center, asks Ernie Head if these are all the water rate initiative petitions that will be turned in as he, Pam Nieberg, left, and several other supporters submitted more than 2,200 signatures Thursday at City Hall. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo

By
From page A1 | January 24, 2014 |

Water rate opponents who have been gathering signatures for an initiative on the June 3 ballot turned their final lot of signatures in to the city clerk on Thursday.

The move launches a series of events in motion, and if enough signatures are verified — 1,161, according to state law — it will place a campaign before voters to decide the fate of the city’s proposed water rates to pay for construction and operation of the surface water project.

The project would siphon water from the Sacramento River, treat it and pipe it to Davis and Woodland, alleviating both cities’ reliance on well water only. The down side is that Davis’ water rates are expected to triple.

Michael Harrington, a Davis lawyer affiliated with the signature-gatherers — and counsel in a legal challenge to the water rates — said he is a great believer in direct democracy.

“We started this water referendum together as a team in August 2011,” he said, adding that while the group wanted the rates placed on the ballot with the project, the City Council decided not to. “We want the people of Davis to vote as to whether they think these rates are fair or appropriate.”

City Clerk Zoe Mirabile said previously the initiative will be certified if enough signatures are valid. The required number is 5 percent of the number of votes cast in Davis for all gubernatorial candidates in the last election of its kind.

She also said the city of Davis must act by early to mid-February to place the initiative on the June ballot. Every action related to the petition — counting the signatures and verifying them at county offices — must be complete by mid-February to make election deadlines.

Ernie Head, one of the leaders of the signature-gathering effort, said the group had turned in more than 2,200 signatures.

Nancy Price, another member of the group, said her reasons for joining the fight were to work against the “privatization” of water, which she defined as operating a public utility for private profit.

“So I think it’s very important that we join with our colleagues across this country and the world,” she said. “We’re really fighting for safe, affordable, sufficient water provided by a public utility.”

If the measure qualifies for the ballot and voters reject the rates, the initiative will throw out the city’s rates set in 2013 after the passage of Measure I, which put the surface water project up for a vote.

The city then engaged in a Proposition 218 process to establish new water rates, but as opponents point out, only property owners were allowed to protest the rates.

Still, Yolo County Superior Court Judge Dan Maguire issued a tentative ruling this week upholding the city’s water rates, saying Davis followed state law and made the rates both legal and proportional, a legal word meaning fair.

The city has maintained all long it followed the law and was fair to all ratepayers.

— Reach Dave Ryan at dryan@davisenterprise.net or 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

    Exchange students bring the world to Davis

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

     
    Pastor has many plans for CA House

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Transit survey: 47 percent ride bikes to UCD campus

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Goats help recycle Christmas trees

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Playing Santa

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Special holiday gifts

    By Sue Cockrell | From Page: A3

    Woodland-Davis commute bus service expands

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Learn fruit tree tips at free class

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Davis Bike Club hears about British cycling tour

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Pick up a Davis map at Chamber office

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Sierra Club calendars on sale Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Explorit: Get a rise out of science

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A4

    NAMI meeting offers family support

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    Yoga, chanting intro offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

    .

    Forum

    How much for the calling birds?

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Blamed for her sister’s rage

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Steve Sack cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

     
    Many ensured a successful parade

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Thanks for putting food on the table

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    .

    Sports

     
    Two more for the road for 9-1 Aggie men

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Patterson is college football’s top coach

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Clippers get a win over Golden State

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    NBA roundup: Heat beat Cavs in LeBron’s return to Miami

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    ‘Unbroken': A bit underwhelming

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    Folk musicians will jam on Jan. 2

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    .

    Business

    Passat: Roomy, affordable sedan with German engineering

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    James J. Dunning Jr.

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Floyd W. Fenocchio

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, December 26, 2014 (set 2)

    By Creator | From Page: B7

     
    Comics: Thursday, December 26, 2014 (set 1)

    By Creator | From Page: A9