|Josh: Not too warm and fuzzy|
Sadly for the at times dyspeptic Mr. Moran, his unfortunate comparison is now no longer an operative one. This from Thursday's Pasadena Star News (link):
South Pasadena City Council may decrease water rate hikes - Just as the City Council prepared to sanction mailing notices for an approved 11 percent water rate increase in January, Councilman Michael Cacciotti surprised his peers with a plea to find an alternative to the “devastating fees.”
He voted to approve the hike last month; Councilman Philip Putnam was lone no vote. But since then, Cacciotti said residents have made him change his mind.
“When I look at these rates, in a 3½-year period, it’s basically a 100 percent increase,” he said. “We got to find help for the citizens. They have to get relief.”
Since 2008, prices have gone up about 128 percent, with the highest hike occurring in 2011, when the council approved a 30 percent increase.
Delays in water structure improvements and bond debt has put South Pasadena in a taxing situation. The city’s water system was installed in 1914. Its 85 miles of pipelines have an average age of 80.
The network needs upgrades, and six out of its seven reservoirs — some of which have heavily corrugated metal, failing roofs and termite-eaten wooden beams — don’t meet current seismic standards.
In total, the work will cost about $54 million. But that amount doesn’t include the bond debt of about $430,000 that the city must pay by June 30, 2014.
After listening to Cacciotti’s presentation, Putnam reminded the audience that he had asked for alternative forms of revenue on Sept. 18.
“People are dying with the water rates,” he said.
Flies right into the face of what Josh Moran had been claiming, right? Look at it this way, if you combine the two Joe Mosca water rate hikes and then add them to Moran's "no big deal" 50% increase, you are talking about approximately 100% in rate hikes. In only a few short years, and just like in South Pasadena.
The difference today is that in South Pasadena they are now talking about the terrible effect these water rate increases are having on the people living there. Whereas here Josh thinks it has something to do with the prices at Starbucks.
By the way, Michael Cacciotti will be at next Tuesday's City Council meeting to talk on the topic of the Air Quality Management District. Perhaps while here he could take a few minutes and teach Councilmember Moran about the meaning of the word compassion? Josh could certainly use the information.
Is the City going to send out Prop 218 ballots?
I think I've just been saved around $3,500 I don't really have. I had boldly stated here on the blog that if the City of Sierra Madre repeated the same vote suppression tactic they used the last time they raised water rates by again refusing to mail water ratepayers a Prop 218 ballot, I would cash in a couple of credit card checks and pay the cost of mailing it out myself.
I don't know how you feel, but many have paid with their lives to defend our rights as citizens to the vote. I would have a hard time sitting quietly by and allowing City Hall to once again dishonor their sacrifice. Compared to that $3,500 is a very small price to pay.
As you may recall, the City refused to mail out a water rate Prop 218 ballot in 2010, something that led to the sight of men and women as old as their late seventies going door to door with petitions, desperately trying to undo the theft of their right to a vote on the Joe Mosca water rate increases. Only to see many of those ballots later thrown out by a City Council contemptuous of their efforts.
If you click here you will be taken to the appropriate Agenda Report for next Tuesday's City Council meeting. This item is titled "Proposition 218 Process For Proposed Water And Sewage Rate Increase," and it details how this water rate increase might proceed towards enactment. And if you go to this report you will see that it calls for the mailing of a Prop 218 ballot. Which would allow the ratepayers to vote on the water rate increase.
It is quite a change from 2010 when the ratepayers were forced to fend for themselves.
Of course, this is only a staff generated meeting report, and there is a high likelihood that any Prop 218 water rate ballot mailing will need to be approved by the City Council. There are also certain members of this Council I suspect fear that the results of this vote will not go their way. And given their fear I have little doubt that three of them would have few misgivings about trying to steal our vote once again if they thought they could get away with it.
It is Item #7 on the agenda, which means it will be quite late before the City Council gets around to it. My advice would be to make some coffee and prepare to stay up. It is about as important a topic as you will ever see discussed in that place.