OPINION PIECE BY HEATHER MURPHY
I helped collect signatures on the Prop 218 protest to stop the sewer rates from increasing. I came back to this area about 1 ½ years ago. I lived in Crescent City when I was 5 years old during the ‘80’s. It was more simple here then. I remember that down in the Bay Area it was a rat race, and here everything was community and closeness.
When I was 5, the Prison was a big subject. A lot of pros and cons. The prison passed and the mills closed and my parents pulled me out of Crescent City and we relocated to the Sacramento area. The prison was built to improve the economy. I’ve been back 3 times since then. And I’ve seen many changes and not for the better. I’m afraid to walk around or allow my 4 year daughter to run and play. A lot of convicts, homeless and sexual predators live in this town.
Since I’m now raising my daughter here I cannot live in certain homes because I cannot afford the extra costs on the utilities. I got involved in the sewer rate protest because being an average community citizen I hoped I could do something to help effect a change. While walking and talking to people around town and knocking on doors, I found that most of the people weren’t aware of the rates or why the rates were increasing. They just noticed their water/sewer bills keep going up.
One lady always carries a balance. She continues to pay what she used to pay to keep the service on, but she doesn’t have the ability to pay her balance in full. The majority of the people I saw were not educated about the protest. They don’t understand who can sign and who can’t sign. People on septic wanted to sign and I told them they couldn’t. Single mothers who had their water and sewer included in their rent wanted to sign and they couldn’t. Mobile home owners who pay property taxes and water and sewer bills to their park wanted to sign and they couldn’t.
Trying to make a difference is important to me. At least I tried. What have you done? Complain? If you want to make a difference, get involved. The Prop 218 protest to stop sewer rates from increasing needed nearly 1700 signatures by sewer users. It lost by a couple hundred.
I don’t see things improving in this town.