Huge Oxnard utility bill increase possible- please protest

EditorialBy Aaron Starr

 

Utility bills could soon skyrocket in Oxnard.OxnardUtilitiesUpdate

On October 13 the Oxnard City Council unanimously directed staff to move forward with a process designed to raise utility rates by nearly 65%, an increase of almost $800 per year for an average single-family home.  Ratepayers will be mailed an official notice of these rate increases on or about October 21.  To stop the increase, written protests need to be mailed in by greater than half of the over 40,000 customers.

Will each customer be provided a standard protest form to check off and mail in?  No, the plan is to place the onus on customers to each write a letter of protest and mail it in.  This is equivalent to holding an election without preprinted ballots, where anyone who does not submit a vote is treated as if he or she voted YES.

During the meeting, one councilmember spoke about the importance of democracy.  Let’s put those words into action and not stack the deck against the residents and businesses of Oxnard.  In normal elections, great efforts are made to not disenfranchise people of their right to vote.

For this very important decision, the least the City of Oxnard should do to help mitigate the unfairness of this process is to mail each customer a preprinted ballot, along with a postage-paid pre-addressed envelope for its return, so that each one of us can easily check the box to record our protest.

If you really want to raise the visibility of this issue, come to the City Council meeting Tuesday, Oct. 20 at 6 PM at City Hall. Put in a speaker’s card for public comment (Agenda item “F”) and speak up!

 

Aaron Starr, candidate

Aaron Starr

Aaron Starr ran for City Council last year. He is the Controller of Haas Automation.

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