Friday, March 27, 2015
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 [email protected] 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

    Anti-gay initiative puts AG in a bind

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    County supervisors consider options for historic courthouse

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

    Two found dead of apparent shooting in West Davis home

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    New Paso Fino design trims lots

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

    Woodland police warn of kidnapping phone scam

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Co-pilot may have hidden illness, German prosecutors say

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Senate’s Harry Reid announces he won’t seek re-election

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Need a new best friend?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Lawyer disputes police’s hoax claim in California kidnapping

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

    Empower Yolo offers peer counselor training

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Davis Flower Arrangers meet Wednesday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Sign up for Camp Shakespeare

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    State loosens sex offender residency restrictions

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Neighbors invited to adopt Willow Creek Park

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Sing along on April Fool’s Day

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Three nabbed in counterfeiting probe

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A6

    .

    Forum

    Can he get life back on track?

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Blame Reid for impasse

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7

     
    Practice cancer prevention each day

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

    Turnabout is fair play

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7

     
    Be aware and be afraid

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7

    .

    Sports

    UCD’s Hawkins, Harris to shoot at Final Four

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Home sweet home: Aggie women win a tennis match

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Devil boys grind out a net win at Franklin

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    DHS baseballers fall to Vintage in eight innings

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    UCD men edge Hawaii on the court

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    DYSA roundup: Recent youth softball games feature big hitting

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Sacramento get its second straight win

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Sharks get a key win over Detroit

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    UCD Student Fashion Association presents charity fashion show

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    ‘Get Hard’ comes across as rather limp

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A8 | Gallery

    Monticello announces April live-music shows

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Leonardo Tuchman’s work shows at UC Davis Craft Center Gallery

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

    Sacramento Youth Symphony holding open auditions

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

     
    Preview Art Studio Tour participants’ work at The Artery

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

    Smokey Brights to perform at Sophia’s

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    ‘Deserted Destinations’ is April exhibit at Gallery 625

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

    .

    Business

    Camry Hybrid takes a step forward

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: B3

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Celebrate Rusty Jordan’s Life

    By Creator | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, March 27, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B4