BY KATHERINE KELLY
I didn’t go to last night’s city council meeting where the increase in our water rates was to be announced. I wasn’t feeling well, but if I thought it might make a difference I might have made more of an effort. I figured it would be pointless, the same old, same old, where impassioned citizens go up to the podium and pour their hearts out to the council about the hardship a water rate increase would impose. I envisioned Kelly Schellong rolling her eyes and impatiently waiting for the speaker to end their 3-minute plea so she could move on and basically get it over with. Kathryn Murray probably glared a “how dare you” through the citizen speaker for their gall at speaking contrary to what is a foregone conclusion: the water rates WILL be raised, no matter what We the People think or feel.
From what I’m hearing from those who did bother fruitlessly to attend the meeting, I was right. The council was not there to listen to the people they were elected to represent. The decision had already been made, and listening to the people’s cries was a mere formality required by law. They don’t care about the economic impossibility they are imposing on an already beleaguered population of people living on fixed incomes or working poverty-wage jobs that are giving up food to pay for electricity or some other necessary utility. They need money and see us as a resource. If they looked closer at the real people who are being impacted by this rouge effort, they would see the resource they covet is nothing but a mirage.
So here we are, once again, facing the usual list of suspects determined to run us so far into the ground we huddle in the darkness feeding off crumbs so some fat cat living comfortably can make things better for us. I’m tired of paying for their malfeasance. Our entire system is set up to benefit the few while the majority pays the bill. Only the majority has nothing left to give. Is or council so out of touch with how the common folk live that they think we can just pony up every time the city needs more, more, more? From what I understand, the sewer fund is running a deficit and has been for some time. It’s not “if” but “when” they come with their hands out to cover that massive failure. That, on top of the new school bond levy and the water rate increase, it adds up to impossible for many of us.
I say, “ENOUGH!” Let them restructure the whole system to one of equity and not put the burden on the few. We pay a high price for what we get, no matter what other communities pay. Our water is essentially free at the source. We should only have to pay for treatment and delivery. Why would the costs be going up on those issues? Have they not managed the fund properly and have nothing left to cover emergencies or repairs? We need to see the books. We need to trim from the top. I know the department heads make a decent salary, let’s start there. What is so important about their jobs that they deserve so much compensation? Let them live like the rest of us, under a bridge if necessary. Isn’t that their attitude towards the masses?
Join us in the fight to make this right. Prop 218 gives us a remedy against runaway government spending. All we need to do is collect signatures from half plus one of the parcels that receive water. That’s around 2000. We CAN pull together and say NO! Make them earn their job titles, make them work for the People they were elected to represent. Who’s representing those of us who can’t possibly squeeze out one more dollar for this rate increase? No one! We must represent ourselves. Join me, please.
Katherine Kelly is organizing the Prop 218 Protest Vote. She can be e-mailed at email@example.com for more information on how you can volunteer to help the effort.