Category: Announcements [B]
Encinitas Taxpayers Association to Oppose SDWD Rate Hike
Will Also Seek Board Seats for Non-councilmembers
ENCINITAS—In anticipation of a decision by the San Dieguito Water District (SDWD) to raise water rates, the Encinitas Taxpayers Association (ETA) is launching a grassroots campaign to defeat those rate hikes. As part of that effort, the ETA is also organizing an initiative to open up the SDWD board to non-councilmembers.
“It’s never a good time to increase water rates, but doing so in the midst of the worse economic downturn in at least a generation is particularly bad timing,” said Joe Sheffo, president of the ETA. “That aside, the rate hikes would be a bit more palatable if the body making that decision included independent ratepayers, not just councilmembers. We hope to address both issues through this effort.”
Earlier this month, SDWD announced that it would be raising water rates at least 13%. The action is said to be necessary because of the increased costs of water generally and the need for substantial upgrades to the district's treatment plant, which it jointly owns with Santa Fe Irrigation District. Under Prop 218, however, ratepayers can undo rate hikes if 50% of them disapprove.
Under current law, the district’s board consists of the five members of the Encinitas City Council. This is contrary to many water districts, which are made up of at least some independent members. The district serves Leucadia, Old Encinitas, Cardiff and parts of New Encinitas.
The ETA’s concerns about transparency at the SDWD stem from questionable financial transactions between it and the city that raise serious questions about the management practices of both. These transactions are believed to include various real estate deals, bond offerings, internal billing practices, and personnel assignments.
“The SDWD has operated in a budgetary black hole that makes transparency nearly impossible for a regular citizen,” said Kevin Cummins, vice president of the ETA. “Despite that opaqueness, we have been able to piece together many areas where the SDWD is vulnerable to misuse by the City. This is the right time to open up the district to independent oversight.”
Those living in parts of the city served by SDWD should expect visits from ETA members and others over the next few weeks. Ratepayers will be asked to complete and submit a postcard that will then be presented to the board at its Feb 24 meeting at City Hall.
Founded in 1986, the Encinitas Taxpayers Association is a grassroots organization dedicated to ensuring transparency and accountability from the city of Encinitas and its councilmembers,
This was the comments made to the SANDAG board on May 15 by the Eckfields.
Helen’s SANDAG Presentation
My name is Helen Nielsen-Eckfield. My husband and I live in Carlsbad.
I want to thank you for letting us make a brief presentation to you about this project.
We have been working on the Train Stop at the Del Mar Fairground for the past 3 years.
I want to begin by thanking and congratulating Gary Gallegos who, after this committee added the study of the train stop to the scope of the SANDAG study last March 15, 2008… Gary committed to us that he would have a study of the environmental issues done…. And a budget done by May of 2009
And here we are on May 15 and we have the figures.
As many of you know my husband and I have had two wonderful organizations doing pro-bono work for us on this all this time…. and I am happy to say that the SANDAG budget figures and our pro-bono Engineer’s figures are the same.
We also attempted to work with Assemblyman Martin Garrick to provide an amendment to his bill which will add at least 14 more days of racing to the Del Mar season.
Our amendment would have required that the Thoroughbred Race concessionaire, who in 2007 earned just under 1 million dollars per day, just from betting…. to build the train stop before they received the additional days of racing.
"We haven't really had any discussions about the recession scenarios."Barth, on the economic downturn.
We're putting all the power in their hands and giving them our checkbook, it's crazy" Dalager said about the new fire agency. Dalager has power over the city's budget, pension plans, and a bonding liability.
"What people don't understand is that the public process always takes time," Houlihan said regarding the Hall property park.
To read more quotes and learn about their context, read the January Newsletter.
Event Time: 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM
Title: The U.S. Financial Crisis
Location: Institute of the Americas Building
Room Name: Hojel Auditorium
Room Number: Plaza
Sponsor: The Rady School of Management and the Department of Economics
“Now, I guess we’re in somewhat of a situation of buyer’s remorse.”
Councilmember Bond, after overpaying millions of dollars for a troubled public works yard.
“I am not a credit card kind of person.”
Councilmember Dan Dalager, prior to approving $20 million in questionable loans for the city.
"Dump more money."
Dan Dalager, in response to a citizen satisfaction poll. Fewer people were happy with roadway conditions than in the previous year.
To read more quotes and learn about their context, read the August Newsletter.
Steve Aceti's Wife
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