Friday, February 12, 2010

Send Protest

email forwarded to the LB:

Friends,

I am writing to urge you to protest the planned water rate increase for San Dieguito Water District (SDWD). You can do that by filling out the attached protest form and mailing it to the Encinitas Taxpayers Association so that it gets there by February 24.

The problem with the rate increase, as I see it, is twofold. First, the City is shifting some of its expenses to the SDWD, which results in higher rates. Second, the SDWD gives developers, businesses and the City a discount on rates. This results in higher rates to homeowners.

To prove my point, compare the proposed SDWD rates with the rates charged by the Olivenhain Municipal Water District's (OMWD). (The proposed SDWD and existing OMWD rates are in the attachments.) The SDWD serves Western Encinitas. The OMWD serves Eastern Encinitas. [OMWD uses more imported water than SDWD, and imported water is more expensive.] But, the proposed SDWD rate for homeowners is more than 50% higher than the OMWD rate. The differential is even greater in a drought, like the one we are in now.

Notably, unlike the SDWD, the OMWD charges higher rates for construction, and does not give a lower rate to the City or businesses.

I cannot think of a single good reason why the SDWD would or should give lower rates to developers, businesses and the City. By giving discounts to developers, businesses and the City, the SDWD has to charge homeowners more. The rate study that the SDWD paid for does not mention these discounts, or explain why homeowners have to pay more.

The reason the SDWD gives the City a break is that the SDWD is run by the City Council. The OMWD has its own board. Because the City Council runs the City and the SDWD, the Council can push City costs over to the SDWD, and give the City a break on water rates. Recall the City Council has tried, unsuccessfully, to raise taxes three times in the last five years or so. The City Council can raise the water rates without a vote. This water rate increase is a disguised tax increase.

Again, please protest this increase. I have.

9 comments:

  1. SDWD also has water rights that OMWD doesn't have. They don't cater to new development (no new meters during drought). I've heard their distict actually reduced their rates (~5yrs ago). When was the last time you ever heard of a public agency actually do that???

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  2. Dozens of water district people are retiring this year and next and the year after. These giant pensions need to be paid and will be paid via higher rates to homeowners. Make the SDWD live within their means. VOTE NO!! Cut the salaries and pensions of all govt or quasi-govt agencies. Vote NO!!!

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  3. The rates you show for OMWD are from March 2009, they raised rates in September. Also, OMWD's fixed rate based on the meter size is quite a bit larger than SDWD's, so even if you do conserve water, you still pay this higher fixed charge.

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  4. those pensions are guaranteed already. Can't touch that but giving staff more raises while the rest of us suffer the great recession is stupid.

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  5. Swamis-Sorry to stray off the subject but just to let everyone know that the Parks and Rec. Commission will be considering Lindas request to use Swamis for her big event this Tuesday evening. Meeting starts at 6. Don't know if there is public comment allowed or not.

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  6. Fire all pension staff and employee more public servants loyal and respectful of Encinitas residents.

    Our staff sucks and lets fire their ass!!!!

    New people with the mission to help with have a much better value for Encinitas!

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  7. The pensions are the problem for all the increases. Cut the pensions and water bills will go down!

    Stocks and Dalager are traders. Vote them Out!

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  8. I understand that Barth was on the sub-committee that recommended the rate increase. IS THAT TRUE!

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  9. SDWD serves the western portion of the City of Encinitas (basically west of El Camino Real). Most everything has been planned and developed. When the Ecke Ranch was being planned and constructed, there was lots to do - planning the water system, approving plans, etc. Now there isn't that much going on, but the staff has not downsized. An additional counter person was hired last year at a salary of about $50K. Sweet! And I overheard an employee say that they need a new planning document to come up with future water projects because they are running out of work. This organization is very much in need of oversight.

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