Some people are upset about the water rate hikes for different reasons. Speak your piece here to preserve the community ire for the ages (and maybe to point to in the future).


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Part of the rate increase presumably is going to put weird splashes of paint on the MEAT. Your water will be tastier. Also, people passing by Davis will notice it or something. Aren't you happy? —DavisWikiGnome

2011-09-01 20:14:46   This has the same problem as Covell Village and so many other Davis developments: it takes money out of the pockets of existing residents to build a water system for growth that should be paid for by Mello-Roos taxes instead. —NickSchmalenberger

2011-09-01 20:14:59   Right now most of the vitriol is about the cost to the taxpayers, and that's worth considering especially given the bad economy and that we'll probably be asked to fund another tax increase for the schools. It's easy to forget, though, that there's a lot that smells here. The original deal was rammed through at the last minute, in December 2010 when people were out of town and/or thinking about holidays and such. Environmental concerns, and concerns that this benefited the developer more than the town, were brushed under the rug. One of these days I'll try to dig up that story and summarize it in a coherent way. —CovertProfessor

2011-09-01 20:19:37   There has been considerable discussion about this on the Davis Vanguard if you want to find links. I believe this project is a major benefit to the city. —DonShor

2011-09-02 17:56:55   It's already too expensive for many people (including me) to comfortably live in this town. Renters have been told that they don't have a say in the matter, but it will affect us just as much as anyone else; most landlords will just pass on the cost to tenants to maintain their current income levels. From the point of view of students and the poor, this will make Davis more elitist than it already is, especially in light of all the ridiculous and never-ending tuition hikes at the UC. —ScottMeehleib

2011-10-10 04:11:20   what is this I hear about the city already raising the rates for the last 9 years to help start saving for this project and now the money from those increases is nowhere to be seen? —StevenDaubert

2011-10-10 07:40:23   Why is this titled "vitriol" ? I see none. All I sense with the subject name like this is an "agenda" —RichardL

  • The intent wasn't to be tricky. Nobody in their right mind wants to continue drinking Davis' shitty-ass water if they didn't have to. The people who are upset are the ones who either can't afford the hikes themselves or realize its potential to hurt the struggling small businesses and poorer residents of Davis. Some are also pissed off that this issue wasn't better addressed in the past by previous councils when times were less rough. Now we're stuck with one of the costliest town projects of all time while in the middle of a recession. Yay! If this doesn't make you feel just a little vitriolic, maybe you've been drinking too much Davis water and the fumes have finally got to you. :P -SM

Scott let me take this one: JabberWokky made this page in a comment I made to another user where I basically said if I didn't feel like all the important decisions about the water rate hikes were already made behind closed doors / at 3:am / without quorum that I would be spewing vitriol about the water rate hikes constantly. Daubert

2011-10-13 19:22:28   I want to toss out some thoughts that have been rumbling through my head recently. I had mixed feelings at best about the water rate hikes — that is, I had many concerns both about going forward and about not going forward with them. If there was one thing I was clear on, though, it was how complex the issue was. Now people are trying to get a referendum on the ballot to revisit the issue. Sure, some things are done by vote of the people, but there are a lot of things that should not be, in my opinion. (In fact, I think the CA's propositions are out of control, but that's for another day). In particular, complex issues that require a lot of research and background knowledge are not good candidates for referenda, in my opinion. That is why we have elected officials. They don't always do a good job, but at some point we need to just trust them to do their best, and if they don't do their best, vote them the hell out. When you add the risk that people will just see one side of this complex issue (i.e., can we afford this tax or not?), that's all the more reason not to have a referendum. And again, I say all of this while still being very unsure that City Council made the right choice. —CovertProfessor You are new around town, let me just say we have to clean up after the council, it's just how we do things. Also give me an email address if you would like a response to your above paragraph Daubert

Ok, just sent you an email. —cp

2011-10-14 12:13:15   Civilization is built on infrastructure. Infrastructure is expensive. Davis' water infrastructure is outdated, inefficient, unsustainable and can not meet state and federal regulations. This community has been studying the problem for 20+ years. It could not be worse timing for rate payers that a workable solution has finally come to fruition in the midst of a recession. That being said, it would be irresponsible to not solve this problem now. Please do some research rather than listening to soundbites (mine or anyone else's) before coming to any conclusions. I wrote a piece on my blog that might be a helpful starting point:

@NickSchmalenberger - This infrastructure is not being built for future growth. It is being built so that we can stop polluting the Delta, protect the long term health of our aquifer system and provide citizens cleaner, better tasting water.

@CovertProfessor - Nothing got "rammed through". One small piece of the puzzle was put into place at the time that you mention. I've explained my understanding of that situation in my blog post.

  • There were complaints about improper notification for the (late December!!) meeting, yes? I don't see where you discuss that in your blog post. —cp
    • There was a complaint from Supervisor Provenza that a decision by the Yolo County Board of Supervisors in December regarding a water sale from Conaway Ranch was held at an improperly noticed meeting. I believe that they actually did a "do-over" later. —KemblePope
      • Exactly. That, along with the date of the meeting, explains why I used the phrase "rammed through." The whole thing smelled. —cp
        • This current referendum is for a City of Davis action. That decision was by the County of Yolo and only tangentially linked to the WDCWA. cp - Did you actually read my whole post? I went back to my blog post, and YES I did discuss these December votes,

          "As for those who bemoan the lack of time that these agreements spent in the public sphere before our elected officials voted on them, I must admit that I’m normally a strong proponent of civic engagement and transparency in public processes. But in this instance, I’m persuaded by the very long history of the project; this outcome is exactly what we’ve been planning for 20 years. Regarding the deal specifics, I have to trust that our elected officials and their designees have done their due diligence and that, as with many business deals, deadlines can create good compromises and benefits for all parties involved."

          This project involves two cities, one campus of the University of California, one county, multiple state oversight boards, private land owners and more experts, lawyers and activists than you can shake a stick at. Compromises, mistakes, and tough decisions are all part of the process. —KemblePope

          • Yes, I read it; I just wasn't persuaded by it. I don't think that the long history excuses the late December, improperly noticed meeting, and I don't think that a "mistake" like that is "part of the process." Also, as a side note, I thought UC Davis pulled out of the agreement? —cp
            • Yes they did, but they are counting on it going through. UCD is bringing in surface water from Solano in the interim to augment their deep aquifer water for the next ten years. —DonShor
              • So, they're counting on it, but not paying for it? —cp
                • That is correct. But during the ten year period they are using Solano project water they will be selling surplus to the City of Davis. —DS
                  • Hmm, that seems to speak for itself. But thanks for the reply. —cp

@ScottMeehleib - Davis currently has some of the lowest water rates in the state. It's unfortunate for all of us that this solution has come forward now. But, I'm convinced after two years of my own research that if we don't do it now, then we'll just have to do it in the future at a MUCH higher cost. Water rights are very precious in our state and I'm not willing to gamble with them.

@StevenDaubert - The City raised rates for waste water several years ago in order to upgrade our Waste Water Treatment Plant... which is an integral part of this lowest-cost solution that involves surface water input.

@Dubert - There have been literally hundreds of publicly noticed meetings about this problem over the past 20 years. In the past two years alone, it's astounded me just how many opportunities there were for people to follow, learn about, and influence this process. 3:30am meeting? Ridiculous, yes... but that was one minor step in the decision making process that mainly happened because discussion and public comment was so exhaustive. Without quorum? Example, please. Behind closed doors? Example, please.

TO EVERYONE - this is such a complicated matter, please do some research or reach out to a few people who have done the research before repeating any "facts". As an environmentalist, budget-conscious, much-lower-than-average-Davis-income, slow-smart-growth individual, I beg you all to take a look at the bigger picture here. —KemblePope

  • "give citizens cleaner, better tasting water." Give?! I don't think so. SERIOUSLY, this project is going to cost BIG, BIG Bucks. No "giving" involved. —RaoulDuke
  • ok RaoulDuke, how about "provide" instead of "give"? Yes, it's going to be I stated several times. Any thoughts on any of the substantive issues that I discussed? —KemblePope