BY DONNA WESTFALL
Not only is the city in default within 3 years of taking out the State Revolving Loan which was predicted, and today having to go before the State Water Resource Board to get approval on eliminating the 2.4% interest rate, but to read their paperwork they are outright lying about the population in our city by including the inmate population of Pelican Bay State Prison who are not even sewer rate payers.
Linda Sutter, secretary of the Crescent City-Del Norte Taxpayers Association drove to the meeting in Sacramento. She waited 5 hours to speak for 5 minutes. She let the Board know that the numbers provided by the city on population were not right and further stated to the Board:
“You are just as negligent and culpable as the city council that approved a loan that was twice what we could afford to pay and therefore we hold you equally responsible.”
Ms. Sutter went on to say:
“You are actually doing right now exactly what Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Savings and Loans did which put our national economy in ruins and here you are doing the same thing as we speak.”
The Board has no guarantees that their loan will be repaid even with the new modifications.
We watched and listened to the live video of the meeting as Councilmember Rick Holley, City Attorney Bob Black and Public Utilities Manager, Eric Wier made it seem like the rate paying population is working together with the City. Could anything be farther from the truth? Did they ask any of us for advice? Did they schedule any meetings to toss around ideas? Did they agree to investigate the alleged fraud that put us into this situation?
No, no and no.
Over the years we have asked for forensic audits. Would they do it?
Meanwhile, the City is destroying records and the City is destroying videos of city council meetings covering their actions from 2007 to June 2010.
The City and the State Water Resource Board have no way of knowing if they’re going to get that 5% annual sewer rate increase, but they had the chutzpah to say the city needed another $36 million for Phase 2.
Don’t think for a millisecond that rates will ever stop increasing.
If you want to protest the upcoming rate increase, here’s the way to do it successfully.
It’s very simple. Once the City Council votes to approve the next rate increase, the public have 45 days in which to turn in their protests.
Here’s how to protest:
You take your water/sewer bill and write on it, “I protest the rate increase. Sign your name.”
This eliminates any of the issues we’ve had in prior years. Here are the problems we’ve had with the city.
1. Stating you are not the ratepayer.
If your name is on the water/sewer bill, they can not dispute it.
2. Having an incorrect address.
If you address is on the water/sewer bill they can not dispute it.
3. Having an incorrect account number.
If you account number is on the water/sewer bill, they can not dispute it.
Remember, only one Prop 218 vote per parcel. If you own more than 1 parcel, you get a Prop 218 vote for each parcel.
Who can vote?
Either the owner of the parcel or the tenant if they are the ratepayer .
Lastly, the Crescent City-Del Norte Taxpayers Association gives this advice, before handing in the original to the city, get a copy to the Tax Association so they can keep track and keep the city honest.
Because the protestors won the very first Prop 218 vote, but didn’t know at that time they should have sued and had the vote nullified. They were ignorant and thought the best of city leadership. Now they’re wiser.