BY DONNA WESTFALL
Monday is a holiday. The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 17th. At that meeting they will be asking for a 25% sewer rate increase. The agenda totals 382 pages, so agenda item number 14, the last item of the night will discuss the sewer rates.
To stop the 25% sewer rate increase, the following are 10 basics to a successful Prop 218 protest:
2. A tenant may protest if they are responsible for paying the sewer bill.
3. Only 1 protest will be counted per parcel. But it’s best to get one from an owner and one from a tenant just to be on the safe side.
4. To win the protest (and stop the 25% rate increase), 50% + 1 valid protests must be submitted to the city. That means approximately 1,700 valid protests have to be presented to the City in time. Prop 218 allows 45 days to collect signatures. The exact number of required valid signatures will be released by City Hall. The City will also provide THE GROUP with a list of Assessor Parcel Numbers that are active customers of the Water/Sewer Department.
5. However, since many valid protests in the past were not counted by the city (for whatever reason), it’s important to have your original protest including your original signature submitted to THE GROUP. This means dropping off your sewer bill with your original signature on it and waiting for a copy to be made for your records. They can be dropped at 937 J St. Other locations around town will be announced shortly. Please refer to the following website which will become available soon: www.sewerratesstink.com.
6. THE GROUP will submit your protest to the City along with a transmittal letter listing each address and/or water/sewer account number. Having THE GROUP maintain control of the records assures greater accuracy.
7. If you don’t have a copy of your sewer bill, then protest “ballots” or protest “letters” will be provided to you. NO need to be a registered voter to protest the sewer rate increase. Refer back to #1 and #2 on who can protest.
8. However, it is best if you are a registered voter so that if any games are played by the City, we can initiate a recall of the council members who voted to place this 25% additional burden on the ratepayers rather than investigate some of the allegations of fraud and corruption.
9. Please volunteer to collect protests. Further information will soon be available at the following website: www.sewerratesstink.com.
10. Please donate so we can afford to hire enough people to be successful. 9 out of 10 people sign the protests. It’s only a matter of enough help to coordinate in order to be successful. Info will soon be available at the following website: www.sewerratesstink.com.