By Donna Westfall – April 11, 2016 – City Clerk, Kymmie Scott, verified 211 signatures as valid out of 219 submitted on the referendum. That means the Crescent City, City Council will be faced with making some choices.
- Will they chose to rescind the 20% sewer rate increase?
- Will they allow the issue to go to the November, 2016 ballot, or
- Will they sue to keep it off the ballot?
Since none of the sitting council members chose to investigate allegations of graft, fraud and corruption all these years the odds are that they will sue to keep it off the ballot like they did in 2010. In particular, Councilwoman Kathryn Murray, was very active in pushing for and getting a censure in 2009 so that I didn’t continue to raise troublesome questions and investigate on my own.
The only difference this time is that there will be a counter suit for municipal corruption. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that repaying $43.8 million was unaffordable for this tiny community. And it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the 11.8% expansion figure is poppycock. Expansion is supposed to be paid for by developers. There’s very little development going on in our community.
The problem the City has is one of credibility in light of destroying much of the history via video’s of meetings and documents involving the upgrade and expansion of the 2007 wastewater treatment plant where construction was started before the public knew or understood what a Prop 218 vote involved. Or for that matter, before the City knew if they had ratepayers willing to foot the bill.
In their many attempts to repay this humongous loan, first, they increased the loan repayment period from 20 years to 30 years. But the one thing they cannot deny is going into default three years after starting to repay the loan. Then they got the interest completely eliminated in 2014 because if they hadn’t the State realized Crescent City would be forced into bankruptcy.
With a decreasing customer base, whether or not the City can avoid bankruptcy remains to be seen.
Many questions remain, but one in particular. How could the State approve a loan based on 7,500 population when 3,500 of that figure included inmates out at Pelican Bay Maximum Security Prison? AND, THE PRISON HAS THEIR OWN WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT.
Decisions will have to be made at Monday’s council meeting, 6 pm, April 18th.