Oxnard municipal financial expert disputes proposed utility charges

EditorialBy Phil Molina

WaterBill$

​Friends, Elected Officials,

Fellow Oxnard utility users: We must not allow this attempt to violate your Proposition 218 and the Appellate Court decisions in order for the City Manager to make good on his promise to the business community to protect them from the required equitable water rate increases. You may feel free to use this for you comments tomorrow when staff presents their proposed rate increase to our elected officials.

The staff has worked very hard to prepare future water rates that are designed to confuse and perplex the most serious rate reviewer. With this in mind I have compared what staff is recommending to Council for the future water rates. NOTE THAT THEIR PROPOSED FIXED AND VARIABLE RATES DO NOT COMPLY WITH THE COURT OF APPEALS ORDER TO SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO AND THEREFORE IF OXNARD APPROVES THE PUBLIC WILL HAVE A RIGHT TO ASK THE COURTS TO ISSUE A WRIT OF MANDATE STOPPING THE RATE CHANGES.

First, the staff is proposing “smoothing the rate increase for everyone except single family residential”. The courts did not provide for a “smoothing” of compliance with the law.

Secondly for the same meter size single family residential units will pay for than farmers, commercial, industrial and other businesses.

proposed fixed charges no phase  for residential?
  2015/16      
  single fam smoo Oc. rrigation Ox irrigation comm/ind/
 3/4 inch  $        16.08  $        14.16  $    14.16  $        14.16
1 inch  $        24.25  $        21.36  $    14.16  $        21.36
1.5 inch  $        44.49  $        39.19  $    21.36  $        39.19
2 inch  $        68.89  $        60.68  $    39.19  $        60.68
3 inch  $     125.84  $     110.85  $    60.68  $     110.85
4 inch  $     207.19  $     182.51  $    11.85  $     182.51
6 nch  $     451.10  $     397.37  $  182.51  $     397.37
8 inch  $     735.63  $     648.00  $  397.37  $     648.00
10 inch  $  1,142.12  $  1,006.07  $  648.00  $  1,006.07
         
WHY YOU NEED TO ASK DOES SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENTIAL
PAY MORE FOR SAME SIZE METER THAN ANYONE ELSE?

Next, we need to look at the variable rates being proposed for the “same quality of water to every Oxnard user” according to staff at the utility rate policy review meetings. So to make a dollar for dollar comparison I need to use a large volume of water, say 200 hundred cubic feet of usage. This way you can easily see how much you will be subsidizing everyone else who would use the same amount of water. Once again this violates the Appellate Court ruling. For example if you were to use 200 HCF of water in one month, you would be charged $1,183.76 plus the higher fixed rate shown above. By doing so you would subsidize businesses using the same amount of water because you would be paying more in the excess amount of $405.76 more than a business using the same quality of water and the same quantity. Is this fair? Is this equitable? It certainly is NOT consistent with the court’s decision.

PROPOSED VARIABLE RATES FOR THE SAME QUALITY OF WATER        
single family   rates GIVEN —> 200 hcf     single family  
                residents subsidize  
HCF/month resident    0-9  10-15  OVER 16 totals   all others by   
  other    0-17  18-32  over 32     this amount  
 0-9    $                   3.87  $           34.83      $           34.83      
 10-15    $                   4.57    $                22.85    $           22.85      
 OVER 16    $                   6.12      $   1,126.08  $   1,126.08      
             $   1,183.76    $             –    
multi fam residents                
 0-8    $                   3.90  $           31.20      $           31.20      
 9-12    $                   4.32    $                12.96    $           12.96      
 OVER 10    $                   4.97      $        944.30  $        944.30      
             $        988.46    $       195.30  
comm/indust/landscape TIER 1              
 0-50    $                   4.06  $        203.00      $        203.00      
 ASSUME 50-100?    $                  4.06    $             203.00    $        203.00      
ASSUME OVER 100    $                   3.72      $        372.00  $        372.00      
             $        778.00    $       405.76  
comm/indust/landscape TIER 2              
ASSUME 0-100    $                   4.29  $        429.00      $        429.00      
         $                          –      $                     –        
OVER 100    $                   4.33      $        433.00  $        433.00      
             $        862.00    $       126.46  
Oceanview agriculture                
all    $                   1.20  $        240.00      $        240.00      
         $                          –      $                     –        
           $                     –    $                     –        
             $        240.00    $       943.76  

Next, if you are still with me, notice the game staff has played to make the comparison even more confusing. They have changed the range of water usage as well as the rates, in hopes that those who use the medium about of water might not notice immediately the higher rates they are paying. This is the old switch and bait that sleazy used car salesmen used in the past(?) but is certainly not appropriate for our government officials.

CURRENT RATE STRUCTURE:   PROPOSED VARIABLE RATES 
        single family   rates
             
HCF/month resident     HCF/month resident  
  other       other  
 0-6    $                   2.84    0-9    $              3.87
 7-12    $                   3.15    10-15    $              4.57
 over 12    $                   4.42    OVER 16    $              6.12
             
multi fam residents     multi fam residents  
 0-17    $                   2.32    0-8    $              3.90
 18-32    $                   2.58    9-12    $              4.32
 over 32    $                   3.84    OVER 10    $              4.97
             
comm/indust/landscape     comm/indust/landscape TIER 1
 0-17    $                   2.32    0-50    $              4.06
 18-32     $                   2.58    ASSUME 50-100?    $             4.06
 over 32    $                   3.84   ASSUME OVER 100    $              3.72
             
        comm/indust/landscape TIER 2
        ASSUME 0-100    $              4.29
             
        OVER 100    $              4.33
             
ocean view ag     Ocenaview agriculture  
  0-17    $                   1.01   all    $              1.20
 18-32    $                   1.01        

Please let me know where I may have made a mistake.

Phillip Molina

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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