Thanks Maureen Kirk for taking action on the Cal Water rate hike – time to put some heat to Mayor Sorensen’s seat

2 Sep

Third District Supervisor Maureen Kirk has filed paperwork with the CPUC to become a “party” to the recent rate increase application made by Cal Water.  She’s been keeping me informed of the process. Here is a notice about the first hearing on the matter. Of course it will take place in San Francisco.


9:00 a.m.

ALJ McKinney
Comr Sandoval

A.15-07-015 (PHC) – In the Matter of the Application of CALIFORNIA WATER SERVICE COMPANY (U60W), a California corporation, for an order (1) authorizing it to increase rates for water service by $94,838,100 or 16.5% in test year 2017, (2) authorizing it to increase rates by $22,959,600 or 3.4% on January 1, 2018, and $22,588,200 or 3.3% on January 1, 2019, in accordance with the Rate Case Plan, and (3) adopting other related rulings and relief necessary to implement the Commission’s ratemaking policies,
Commission Courtroom, San Francisco

The pre-hearing conference is the first open forum in the general proceeding. Its purpose is to determine the potentially affected parties, specific issues, and to develop a preliminary filing and hearing schedule. After the conference, the Administrative Law Judge issues a scoping memo that lists the issues raised during the pre-hearing conference and a schedule for addressing these issues in the general proceeding.

Section (a) of Rule 1.4 of the CPUC’s Rules of Practice and Procedure provides the ways in which an interested person/organization can become a party to a proceeding. 

(a) A person may become a party to a proceeding by:

(1) filing an application (other than an application for rehearing pursuant to Rule 16.1), petition, or complaint; (the term “application is not referring to a form, it is a formal document that the party creates and submits to the CPUC)

(2) filing (i) a protest or response to an application (other than an application for rehearing pursuant to Rule 16.1) or petition, or (ii) comments in response to a rulemaking;

(3) making an oral motion to become a party at a prehearing conference or hearing; or

(4) filing a motion to become a party.

As such, this 9/21 Prehearing Conference is one forum at which Butte County (or any other affected entity) can request to participate as a Party.

I think this is a job for the Mayor, or the Vice Mayor, the City Manager, Assistant City Manager, or some other paid representative of the city. I will send this notice to Mayor Sorensen and City Manager Orme. For one thing, I was just reading over the rules for their travel expenses, and they can afford a lot better hotel than me. For another thing, as elected officials and staffers, they will get a lot better reception from the CPUC people than I would.

I was very disappointed with Sorensen’s limp-wristed motion at last night’s council meeting – a presentation from Cal Water? You mean, an opportunity for Cal Water to pitch the rate hike? 

I informed Mayor Sorensen about the application for this rate hike back in early July, days after it was filed. I sent him the case information and contact information.

Since I informed Supervisor Kirk she’s filed the paperwork to become a “party” and she’s needling the county to apply for “Intervenor” status and formally oppose this rate hike.  

The city of Marysville had a presentation from Cal Water August 18. Directly after that presentation they voted unanimously to apply for “Intervenor” status and formally oppose the rate hike.

Meanwhile Sorensen is only now asking to agendize a presentation?  

It’s time to write those e-mails, tell him we want Intervenor status, we want a formal protest.

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