Pleasanton Weekly

Opinion - May 7, 2010

Letter: Disagree about sewer and water rates

Dear Editor,

I strongly disagree with your opinion that raising sewer and water rates make sense (April 23 Editorial: "Proposed water/sewer rate increase makes sense.")

My hometown is Exeter, Calif. It is a small farming community in the Central Valley at the base of the Sierra Nevada. Let us compare the utility rates between Exeter and Pleasanton.

* Sewer: Exeter, $18 per month; Pleasanton, $60.61

* Water: Exeter, $20 per month; Pleasanton, $54.45

Pleasanton's rates are about three times higher than Exeter's and you propose that a rate hike makes sense? What makes sense here? Exeter has to pump the water, pump the sewage, treat the sewage and maintain the system just as Pleasanton does.

With a large portion of the population out of work or working for less, the emphasis should be on how to provide more for less, not less for more.

You can confirm what I have stated by going to Exeter's population has been growing over the years with people from Los Angeles and the Bay Area fed up with this type of abuse. Exeter is looking more and more attractive to me but with one exception. It still resides in California, a state more concerned about protecting the Delta smelt than providing its citizens with water, and a state not capable of providing a reasonable balanced budget.

Ken McNees


Posted by Peter Cruttenden, a resident of Livermore
on May 11, 2010 at 11:15 am

Why do people think public agencies are out to screw the people?
They aren't. The problem here in Pleasanton was caused by a policy generated by amature politicians on the city council.

Different localities have different costs involved to bring those basic services to their area.
Both the water SOURCES and sewage DISPOSAL routines are totally different for Exeter and Pleasanton.
Pleasanton has to jump thru more expensive hoops to make their utilities function because of their location.

Pleasanton made their own situation bad by holding their rates the same for an extended period. Did they really think costs were not going up the whole time? Instead of raising rates a little at a time as things got more expensive they now have to dump the whole increase on the people at once. And of course the city then blames everyone but themselves!
This is a great example of unqualified 'boards' running our cities and government agencies with unrealistic policies.
In case people haven't noticed, there are fewer and fewer people running things nowdays who actually know what they are doing.

I totally agree with your last sentence. There should be a balance between the needs of nature and the needs of people.
The problems in the world today are caused by many many situations being controlled by extremist policies - all at once.
Perhaps if 'they' wanted to save the fish they should have made some attempt to control the people population first.
The Utilities were originally tasked with providing water and sewer for the people. The result is a statewide water system that does just that. Then a radical group comes along and swings things totally overboard in the opposite direction.
I'm against extremism in either direction.
When dealing with so many people, moderation and an attempt at 'the best of both worlds' should be the guiding policy.
Not much moderation around these days....

I think raising the rates is simply being realistic about the situation we got ourselves into.

in Livermore

Posted by Tim, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 12, 2010 at 8:48 am

This is a significant increase for me, a 41% increase in my yearly costs. Some of the increase is because the rates are increasing, most of it is because they are removing the senior discount if you use more than 40 Ccf of water during a two month period. It is hard to have a small yard and garden and stay under that limit.

To me, a limit of 60CcF would seem more reasonable.

Posted by Laurence, a resident of Birdland
on May 12, 2010 at 9:42 am

I agree with Tim...Pleasanton wants beauty in their city, but are making it hard within the senior community with the credit or lack of credit. Many do not have the dollars to tear out their beautiful yard to bring in new landscaping with drought resistant plants.

Posted by Kemo Sabe, a resident of Grey Eagle Estates
on May 12, 2010 at 10:10 am

Let's see, how about time to thin the herd and let's start with government employees, I saw one of them with her lips moving, so you know it is bullcrap. Elect what you get.

Smarter, we have to be smarter and remove the dummies at the local, state and fed level. This November is everyone's chance to unchange the change.

Posted by steve, a resident of Parkside
on May 12, 2010 at 12:17 pm

Great post, Peter.

I don't think all public agencies are out to screw us. Just the one's whose mission has been overtaken by over-regulating extremists who think the needs of some fish are more important than human beings.

Posted by Dave Ferguson, a resident of San Ramon
on May 12, 2010 at 3:59 pm

Comparing Exeter to Pleasanton is not a fair comparison. This is known as comparing apples to oranges. Comparing any utilities rates from one to another is probably not a great idea. It is a known fact that energy rates are only going to go up. It is a known fact that potable (clean drinking water) water rates are going to go up, because there is more people and less water. Pleasanton's water is a mix of Sacramento Delta water and stored well water (Zone 7, Pleasanton's water supplier could give you more specifics). Is everyone, when I state everyone, I mean, do you encourage your neighbors, friends and relatives to conserve water. Are we using water saving shower heads, tier 3 washing machines, 1.28 gallon per flush toilets, planting drought resistant plants, fixing minor drips and on and on? If you use less water, first you will lower your water bill, which amounts to less water that is cleaned for your consumption (lowers electrical use by the utility) and less water down the drains saves the utility energy consumption in cleaning your used water, if they have less used water, more will be made for reclaimed water (non potable water for watering golf courses and parks) which means less water to pump over the hill to be dumped in San Leandro Bay, which results in less energy used. When we complain about our water bills, are we doing everything we can to save water?
Dave Ferguson, owner
Mr. Rooter Plumbing of the Ti-Valley
(925) 829-4234

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