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Stop The Redlands 45% [Sam says 55%] Water Rate Increase [and disguised tax increase]

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STOP THE 45% [Sam says 55%] REDLANDS WATER RATE INCREASE [and disguised tax increase]

The Redlands City Council approved a whopping 45% [or 55%] (compounded) water rate increase plus a 2.5% yearly sewer rate increase.

Council members Paul Foster, Jon Harrison, Pat Gilbreath and John James approved the 45% [or 55%] rate increase.  Only councilmember Paul Barich voted no.  [Thank you Paul Barich for looking out for Redlands taxpayers and rate payers.]

Government is never expected to be more efficient or effective.  The answer is invariably to extract more money from the people.

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All residents and businesses in Redlands should have received a “Prop 218 notice.”  To block the 45% [or 55%] water rate increase, a majority of property owners mail a written objection.  The Council could have put the 45% [or 55%]  water rate increase on the June ballot so Redlands voters could choose, but the Council chose not to do so because it is more likely the 45% [or 55%] water rate increase will slide through with the Prop 218 notice procedure.

The City’s “Prop 218” notice consists of two pages of tables of numbers that few people will analyze.  The City’s “Prop 218” notice does not mention the percentage increase or include a form to object to the huge 45% [or 55%] water rate increase.

Is the City being open and honest with the people of Redlands?

To stop the 45% [or 55%] water rate increase, we must  mail written objections by March 15, 2016.

A flyer to share with your friends, neighbors, family and coworkers and a form to object to the 45% [or 55%] water rate increase is below.

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The City’s purported reasons for the 45% [or 55%] water rate increase are (1) the City is selling less water because of state-mandated cutbacks and (2) to purportedly fixed the pipes. 

However, the West Valley Water District recently rescinded a rate increase and cancelled two scheduled rate increases even though it also is selling less water, and Redlands previously increased water rates to “fix the pipes.” 

So what are the real reasons for the whopping 45% [or 55%] water rate increase?

Does the City intend to use money from the whopping 45% [or 55%] water rate increase as a disguised tax increase to fix the purported 100 year flood problem downtown so developers can build high density, tax payer subsidized “stack and pack” housing along the rail where they plan to run 58 trains per day?

In 2014, the City proposed a tax increase to pay for fixing the purported 100 year flood problem.  Public opinion was so overwhelmingly against the tax increase, the City Council did not even put it on the ballot.  Troy Clark from the City planning department said one of the ways to address the flood problem is with larger pipes.

So is part of the whopping 45% [or 55%] rate increase intended to deal with the 100 year flood problem so they can build high density “stack and pack” housing? 

Mayor Foster vigorously denied this.  If we cannot trust our government, if we cannot trust Mayor Foster, who can we trust?

Even if Redlands does not intend to use money from the 45% [or 55%] water rate increase as a disguised tax increase to fix the purported 100 year flood problem downtown, the 45% [or 55%] rate increase is not justified.

In the private sector, if our sales decrease, we do not get to correspondingly raise our prices to keep our revenue constant.  We have to find ways to reduce expenses.

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WHAT CAN WE DO?

    • Return the form with the flyer below OBJECTING to the rate increase.  [There is a URL to obtain the assessor parcel number for your property.]
    • TELL YOUR NEIGHBORS (we need a majority of residents to object to the 45% [or 55%] increase or else the rates will increase by default.
    • Make copies of the attached flyer and drop it off at all of your neighbors.
    • Attend Council meetings and tell them what you think of their 45% [or 55%] water rate increase. [first and third Tuesdays, 6:00].
    • Share this post with everyone you can.
    • Remember Pat Gilbreath and John James are up for reelection this year, and they voted to increase our water rates by 45% [or 55%].

As always, “The most important political office is that of the private citizen.” Justice Louis D. Brandeis

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