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Simple typo or intentional fraud?

By Donna Westfall – March 8, 2016 – The ordinance that increases sewer rates was adopted last night by the Crescent City, City Council, in a unanimous vote; but first there was lengthy discussion.

In Ordinance #792 were the WHEREAS clauses.

Bear in mind that there are five council members that supposedly read these things. There’s a City Attorney, Martha Rice, that supposedly prepares these things.  There’s an active City Manager, that supposedly reads these things. There’s City Staff that supposedly reads these things.

And yet, no one connected to the city receiving a city paycheck caught this four letter error that could have increased your sewer rates an additional year and another 5% for a total…. wait for it….. 25% increase instead of 20% increase in your sewer rates:

  • WHEREAS, the City of Crescent City find it necessary to implement sewer service rate increases each year for the next five years to stabilize and support the sewer fund.

FIVE vs FOUR.  “It was just a typo,” says Atty Martha Rice.

This is very reminiscent of another boo boo played on the public dating back to March, 2008 when the City Council approved the one and only bid for $37+ million by Wahland, started construction, and then six months later decided they better to do a Prop 218 protest. Only then it was for $42.5 million, and oops, that ultimately turned in to a $43.8 million loan.

It’s called shoving this white elephant wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) upgrade/expansion loan amount down our throats is what it’s called.  After all, we (The CITY) would be sued if the sewer rates didn’t pass and heavens to Betsy, we don’t want to be sued and go into bankruptcy, do we?

Well….let’s think about that.

Should the City declare bankruptcy?  Every other aspect of their operation is running just fine and in the black.

Except for the WWTP by virtue of ever increasing rates on an already over-burdened rate paying public.

Should the City declare bankruptcy?


Should the City look for other means of supporting their white elephant?  Like cutting salaries, eliminating merit bonuses….. oh….. let’s look at merit bonuses for a sec.

March 15, 2010 published in the Triplicate by reporter, Nick Grube:

  • “Council looks at merit pay for city staff.
  •  Move comes despite the budget shortfall

Guess who signed up?

Jim Barnts.  The former Public Works Director. And every other department head.

If you can believe our City Council, and sorry, I don’t for the most part because they have a piss poor track record relating to the WWTP and sewer rates, there’s only about $100,000 short fall per year on the WWTP budget and the newly increased sewer rates should take care of that.

Um…. well if it’s only $100,000 short, maybe they need to eliminate a position or two in addition to cutting salaries.

Oh my gosh! Did no one from the City think of this option?

Apparently not

Maybe someone from the public ought to write them a note and suggest it.

Then again, they don’t read very well, do they?

Maybe they can read, REFERENDUM.







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