“Fresno City Hall and Doug Vagim may be fighting again in court — this time over the former Fresno County supervisor’s efforts to derail new water-rate hikes. …
“City Hall’s position in the likely lawsuit is simple: The hikes are pivotal to providing a core government service, and therefore outside the scope of the initiative process. The city in essence will ask the judge to end Vagim’s quest before it begins.”
“Although the Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors has not yet voted to reduce municipal water rates, some board members are pressuring city government officials to pass those savings to the rate-payers, in the event the district does lower the price of water to cities.
“IID officials recently announced that they wished to review the reasons the district charges municipal and industrial customers more than three times more for water than for the agricultural community.”
“People in Chico and Oroville protesting proposed California Water Service rate hikes might be encouraged that the agency representing ratepayers before the state Public Utilities Commission has recommended slashing Cal Water’s proposed Marysville rate hike by more than half.”
“The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has directed an estimated $40 million in ratepayer money to two nonprofit groups charged with improving relations with the utility’s largest employee union, but the agency claims to have scant information on how the public funds have been spent.”
“Local anti-tax advocates Doug Vagim and Steve Wayte on Friday delivered paperwork and a $200 check to the Fresno County Clerk, officially starting a process to put the city’s recent water-rate increase to a vote.”
From the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA):
“A recently published white paper concludes that local water agencies in California utilize good public policy decisions in setting their water rates even though calculating and implementing rates has become more complicated.
“The six-page paper titled ‘The California conundrum: Is water a public resource, an economic good, or a tax?’ is by Tim Seufert, the managing director of government consultancy NBS.”
“San Juan Capistrano is objecting to a judge’s ruling that the city’s tiered water-rate system is illegal.
“In a four-page document filed Wednesday, a lawyer for the city says Orange County Superior Court Judge Gregory Munoz erred when ruling that the rates approved by the City Council in February 2010 are not based on the cost of providing water service.”
“Fresnans will soon pay more for water — a lot more.
“The City Council on Thursday night approved a new rate structure that will help fund a long-needed $410 million upgrade to Fresno’s water system but will probably cause homeowners’ monthly bills to double.”