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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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Water rates likely to soar in Pleasanton

Uploaded: Jul 20, 2023
Pleasanton residents are not going to be pleased with their City Council.
Acting on the recommendation of the city staff, four council members moved forward with a plan to increase water rates by more than 60% over the next three years. The hefty increase is designed to rebuild the reserves in the city’s water fund that is supported by water bills paid by residents and businesses.
The big increases were opposed by five speakers at the council meeting Tuesday evening and that’s likely just the start of the complaints as the concern spreads.
Looking at the recommendation and the rationale, you have to wonder how badly prior city management and elected officials missed on water rates. City enterprise funds should do more than break-even year-to-year. It should cover current operations and maintenance while building a reserve fund for eventual replacement of facilities. That second aspect seems to have been missed. It’s similar to all off the transit agencies that bank little for capital improvements and then hope manna falls from taxing-and-spending heaven such as Sacramento or Washington D.C.
The staff report notes that the city will be seeking other funding sources such as that manna as well as its share of the PFAS settlement with 3M.
The majority of the council, Mayor Karla Brown and councilwomen Julie Testa and Valerie Arkin, have ignored citizen suggestions that they slow down some capital spending—such as a new skate park and renovating Century House, because clean water is a higher priority.
Come election time, the voters will be heard from.

Watching the American Century Classic celebrity golf tournament at Edgewood Lake Tahoe over the weekend, it was striking how much snow was still visible on the mountains west of the lake in mid-July.
When we were there in the last week in June, we were struck by how much snow was still there as we drove on highways 88 and 50. Chatting with the bar tender at our Sunday brunch, he said he’d skied 100 days this season (perfect for locals with lots of tough weather weekends followed by clear weeks—he works nights so could make his turns during the day).
He mentioned that he has the gear to hike for his summer turns now that the lifts have closed. I joked that could last through the summer and he said he’s planning on it lasting year-round. Wow. When’s the last time you heard that about the Sierra Nevada snowpack?
Having driven Highway 120 over Tioga Pass when returning from Utah last October, it’s been striking to see the effects of the massive snowfall in that area. The road is finally clear and will open Saturday---the latest opening in recorded history. There are some temporary facilities in Tuolumne Meadows where facilities were damaged, including the sewage system. Reports show the park is absolutely jammed on the valley floor with limited parking and spectacular water falls. The high country opening might reduce some of the congestion.

What is it worth to you?


Posted by Debbie Wallace, a resident of Stoneridge,
on Jul 20, 2023 at 8:15 am

Debbie Wallace is a registered user.

Tim, I could not agree with you more. I was at the meeting. Council spent zero time on the police not having a contract and way too much time on the survey presentation. They did everything they could to stall getting to the water rates issue, watching the meeting room clear out the later it got. Mayor Brown read a comment card about a 62% increase in the rates from a resident who ultimately left the meeting, and made the comment she did not understand how that person came up with that percentage increase, and she expects us to feel comfortable with her making these major decisions! With the exception of Vice Mayor Balch who seems to be the rationale one in the room, our Council has become such a disappointment!

Posted by Michael Austin , a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Jul 20, 2023 at 11:54 am

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Pleasanton city council members Nibert and Testa supported Pamela Price. Those people that voted for Nibert and Testa probably also voted for Pamela Price. The recall of Pamela price is not likely, due to her demographic voter base, which is Hayward, Oakland, and reaches into the Pleasanton city council and the Pleasanton neighborhoods.

Those teenage thugs from Hayward and Oakland were raised in fatherless homes. They will be showing up here in Pleasanton neighborhoods because the criminal competition in Hayward and Oakland is too intense, saturated.

Those teenage thugs are the modern-day victims. The more they pilfer, rape, and rob, the greater their victimization. Pamela Price has said as much.

If a property owner, tax paying Pleasanton resident is robbed and mugged, they will have to lick their wounds and get over it. There will be no prosecution of the modern-day victim.

Hot items thugs are looking to steal, are guns, and more guns. They will use what guns they can, until they can steal bigger and better, then take their used guns to police gun buy backs. Depending on the type of gun, they can get $100 to $200 per gun. No questions asked.

Posted by Jeff Nibert, a resident of Stoneridge,
on Jul 20, 2023 at 5:47 pm

Jeff Nibert is a registered user.

Michael, I donated to both DA candidates, but I voted for Terry Wiley.

Posted by Michael Austin , a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Jul 20, 2023 at 6:04 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.


I asked Bing: Why donate to one candidate than vote for that candidate opponent?

Bing Reply:
"Donating to one candidate and voting for the opponent is not a common practice. It is possible that some people may donate to multiple candidates or parties to support their interests or beliefs. Some people may donate to a candidate they don't support to gain access or influence with that candidate if they win."

Jeff, are you seeking access or influence through your donation to Pamela Price?

Posted by Parent and Voter, a resident of Danville,
on Jul 24, 2023 at 6:54 am

Parent and Voter is a registered user.

RE: Massive Water Rate Increases
We can expect water rates to escalate in other cities too.
It sounds like mismanagement when a utility spends money on everything EXCEPT maintaining or upgrading it's own system. Then the public gets hit with rates that will increase by over 60 percent over the next three years.
A properly managed Utility would have either had ongoing maintenence or set aside money for future work. Instead they put the public in a situation where they are forced to accept the increases.
Who hires the management of local water utilities?

Posted by LongTimeP-Towner, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Jul 24, 2023 at 10:08 am

LongTimeP-Towner is a registered user.

The water increase is almost 75% because it is compounded, first 30%, then 20% then 12% which results in a 74.7% increase.
Vote them out!

Posted by MsVic, a resident of Mission Park,
on Jul 29, 2023 at 8:40 am

MsVic is a registered user.

If you follow or watch council meetings they leave the important topics for last. Many cannot stay or remain on zoom for these late night topics. The mayor assumes we are comfortable with her decisions and her followers Testa, Arkin and now Nibert, guess what, many are not. Our voices will be heard at the voting booth if not sooner.

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