The first article is from the Marin Independent Journal.
The second is from the Sacramento Bee.
So far as I can tell from the two articles, there are several commonalities.
- Both have water rates based on usage and not the actual cost to operate and replace their water systems.
- Both have agencies which have raised water rates repeatedly over the last several years to cover budgetary shortfalls from other sources and the declining rate revenue due to conservation.
- Unlike Orange County, both agencies have ample supply of water.
- Both agencies have elected representatives that have apparently not sought other cost saving measures, though that is more a guess based on a lack of information.
Compounding the problem, is the franchise fee water rate payers pay on every bill. 10%-11% of your water bill goes into the general fund to pay for all of those things which are covered by the general fund, such as police, fire, tree trimming, and building maintenance.
If the City Council would stop skimming funds from the water bill revenue, rate payers would not need a rate increase for another year or two. Instead of continuing the franchise fee, have that 10% go into the water system's capital improvement program to help fund replacing the system.
Next, we need to look to the Orange County Water District which Fullerton is a member of and look for ways to cut overhead and long-term costs. Other areas which Fullerton residents need to look to cut the costs on their water bills include the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and the Metropolitan water District of Orange County.
So far as I can tell, ALL of these agencies have a stake in my water bill and all of them should be heavily scrutinized to give rate payers the most for their dollar.
July 19, 2011 is the tentative date for the Public Hearing at City Hall to raise your water rates. Clear your calendar now for July 19 at 6:30PM and show up to voice your concerns.