Before Council approves a 35% rate increase to your water, waste water and sewer bills …

By Phil Molina

Prioritization

Editor’s note: Although this is about Oxnard, it could apply to almost any municipality.

 

​Friends, Elected Officials:

What should Oxnard citizens expect from the staff and our Elected Officials when they are proposing over 30% increases in water, sewer, and solid waste fees? My suggestion:

The process that ought to be used by staff needs to include a citizens’ involvement in determining what improvements are required, how much corrective action is needed, which improvements/corrections are required by laws, what are the cost savings over the long (within 5 years) haul for us, how much will our bills increase, is everyone paying the same rates, etc.  We should have a public opportunity in front of our elected officials to voice our thoughts and concerns much as the city’s business community did this last week.

So how does the city gather our vote, or allow us to voice our concerns?  One way could be a pamphlet distributed to every utility user in Oxnard (approximately 42,000 addresses). That pamphlet could explain the projects being proposed, show the estimated costs and time frames for accomplishing each project and the level of importance of each project and how each projects impacts the utility rates we all pay. Here is one way in which the staff could gather our input: ask Council to rank the proposed project based on a set of criteria, which I offer here free of charge (again).

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Phil Molina is an Oxnard resident, former Oxnard Finance Director and “whistleblower,” who exposed alleged corruption, and was fired. He sued and won a large award, after many years of litigation.

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