There it is – the first letter to the editor bitching about a rate increase that could have been stopped with a piece of paper that said “NO!”

1 Feb

A friend sent me a link to a letter in the ER yesterday that goads me into saying “I told you so!” A local woman bitching about the sewer rate increase. Just now?

The entire process was legal, mostly because people haven’t been paying attention as the state legislature has changed the rules for how taxes can be administered. The writer had very good points, suggesting the use of some of the millions the city of Chico got in Camp Fire emergency funding, to bring our sewer plant and infrasture up to date. But, here’s the thing – all we had to do to to stop that sewer rate increase was write NO on a piece of paper with our address and signature and deliver it to the clerk.

In the 45 days between receiving the notice and the hearing date, I wrote two letters to the paper telling people about the process and how simply we could reject it. The local media sat on their keyboards. I contacted Howard Jarvis Association and received information how to beat it, and shared that on my blog. I spoke to friends, neighbors and strangers at the grocery store. I got many blank stares.

Meanwhile, I’ll guess over half of Chico threw their notices in the trash without even reading them.

So now the media, including the Enterprise Record, are jumping on the bandwagon to promote the rate increase, with a glowing Eric Gustafson talking about the Candy Land we’ll have now – even promising to resurface entire streets after sewer hook-ups instead of sloppy patches.

All that waits to be seen – what we will see immediately, is a continuing rise in our cost of living with a simultaneous dip in our quality of life. I also predict Gustafson will be moving on to a higher salary in another town within the next year.

What I also predict is another push to outlaw septic tanks – we’ll see, on the next installment of Tank Girl.

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