Thu. Sep 24th, 2020

 

BY DONNA WESTFALL

Let’s raise our water rates so we can qualify for a new loan.

Now that’s scary.

This is the same thinking that got us into the current predicament.  Looking over Councilmember Ron Gatineau’s Coastal Voices article in the Oct 5th issue of the Triplicate extolling the virtues of raising our water rates….

“By not borrowing the money, the city is saving money in the long run.”

Excuse me?  We’re not going to be borrowing money?  Did I hear right?  That is in exact opposition to the report given at the September 16th council meeting by our $9,000 a month interim finance director, Susan Mayer.  (See video link.)

Listen, kiddo, the group behind the Prop 218 protest are not the vocal minority any more.  They are the same group that instructed the public to the dangers of hydrofluorosilicic acid (HFSA) in their drinking water… you know… that stuff you refer to as “safe and effective” for fighting cavities.  Ron Gastineau, since you don’t believe the numbers from the last election, let me remind you it was the MAJORITY that voted in a moratorium on HFSA/fluoride until our supplier provided data with assurances that their product was safe and effective for every consumer; infant to senior.   By the way, it’s almost a year later and NOT ONE WORD FROM UNIVAR; NOT ONE SHRED OF EVIDENCE, NOT ONE TOXICOLOGICAL REPORT….. nada, zip, zero.  Yep, we’re same group that keeps on keeping on because our city and elected officials are not telling the truth.  We’re the same group that’s going to stop the water rate increases because we now know how to and we’re sick and tired of dealing with the stupidity that comes out of the mouths of the people who were elected to represent all the people….not to mention those employees bringing home a hefty salary to spout the party line.

Here’s a prime example:

2007:  Former Public Works Director Jim Barnts stated in the public workshop that we need to double our sewer rates because we need to expand and upgrade the old 1950’s to the tune of $43.8 million.  We needed a $40 million system like we needed a hole in the head.  Barnts further stated that the $2.5 million laboratory would pay for itself in 2 1/2 years.

NEWS FLASH.  We’re now 6 going on 7 years and that lab has continued to operate in the red. Another way of putting that…. it has not made 1 cent.  Another black hole.

WHY should we believe the City now?

We shouldn’t.  And they are not very creative.  The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again, and think you’re going to get different results.  They fit the definition.

New example:

Let’s get back to HFSA/fluoride.

During the 4 or 5 years that proponents for clean water spoke at the city council, one of the issues raised was the corrosive effects of HFSA on the water delivery system, valves and fittings.  Gee..d’ya think?  Well, maybe…..ah…. adding that poison hurt our pipes and valves and gee…. maybe we oughta just ignore the fact that we’re responsible (the CITY that is) for this foolishness and pass the cost on to the vocal minority cash cows…. oops…. ratepayers.

Think again City.

What about the cost to retrofit the water tank to the tune of $1/2 million?  Where are the bids?

What about an underground water storage tank that collects rainwater? Probably not a good idea since our water table is so high.  It’s not like we live in the desert. Speaking of which did you know that at Masada (Israeli desert) they would get 1 inch of rain a year.  Because Herod the Great built underground cisterns fed by rainwater, their community could survive for months  We’re talking 2,000 years ago. In 1990 I walked about the remains of Masada and learned of the siege of the Jewish Zealots by the legions of the Roman army. At first the Roman commanders had hoped that the besieged people would surrender due to hunger and thirst. The Roman army numbered some ten to fifteen thousand  men, while the entire besieged population on Masada number 967 people, including  men, women and children.

Entrance to MasadaThe  siege lasted several months, during which time the Romans build a massive embankment  on the western slope of the mountain. The Romans climbed this man-made ramp to  attack the Zealots, who were living in the fortress with plenty of food that they  had stored away before the siege — and a massive supply of water that was collected  naturally in Herod’s man-made rain collection system.

Alrighty now, we’re not in the desert and we’re not going to build cisterns fed by rainwater.

But what about the outlying water districts?  I hear that the Bertsch Tract charges extra and has a $200,000 surplus.  They fixed their redundancy lines and everything and they are in good shape.  What about the other districts?  What about these districts LOANING the money to the City to make it through this economic crisis?

Has anyone at the City thought of that?  Of course not.

 

 

 

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