Readers comments 2-16-18
Tuesday around 10 p.m., my husband heard a noise by the front door. Curious to see if it was caused by an animal, he opened the door and found a bottle of water and a note from Golden State Water Company stating that it was unsafe to drink the water if you live north of Miramar Avenue.
Nobody had bothered to knock or ring our doorbell. Wondering how that related to us since we live just north of the Bernard Field Station, I checked the website and found out that warning also applied to our neighborhood. This was after, of course, we had been drinking water from our faucet all evening.
The next morning I was curious, drove around the block, and noticed that roughly 75 percent of the bottles were still sitting near people’s front doors. This was probably because most people in our area enter their homes through their garages and seldom use their front doors.
Two days later, in the early evening on Thursday, an employee of the water company showed up at a front door to announce that it was now safe to drink the water. They claimed that they were unable to contact us two days earlier, which makes no sense since they have no problem sending us the bill for our water usage.
Luckily, there wasn’t a serious issue this time since we did not get sick from drinking the water. Hopefully from this experience, Golden State will develop a plan to deal with the possibility of a more serious water issue in the future.
Yes on Prop 68
On February 8, the Claremont Wildlands Conservancy Board voted unanimously and enthusiastically to support Proposition 68, which will appear on the June ballot:
Proposition 68, the California drought, water, parks, climate, coastal protection, and outdoor access for all act, would authorize California to issue $4 billion in general obligation bonds to finance state and local parks, water conservation measures, water reliability to disadvantaged communities and flood protection projects.
The funds include: $200 million for “Local Parks Grants,” which will be distributed based on population; $15 million for “Parks and Recreation Grants” allocated to cities with populations under 200,000; $30 million for competitive grants for open space projects; $30 million to target trail development; and $30 million to the Lower Los Angeles River and Mountains Conservancy. Claremont is within the conservancy’s granting area.
In other words, chances are good that if this bond measure passes, Claremont will qualify to receive grants from one or more of these funding sources in order to preserve and protect more hillside open space and watershed.
The state League of Women Voters and the Claremont Area League join us in supporting this proposition.
Claremont Wildlands Conservancy
I’d like to address one particular sentence written by Mayor Larry Schroeder in last week’s viewpoint.
The mayor wrote quite deliberately, “The parcel tax measure failed to pass,” rather than something more appropriate, like “The $50-million measure failed to pass” or, my favorite, “The police-station-in-the-gravel-pit measure failed to pass.”
Facing questions from the public because of the council’s recommendation to increase the tax burden on families by recommending a GO bond, it appears the mayor wants voters to believe that Measure PS failed because of the parcel tax, so he and the council can use that as justification for rejecting an altogether different parcel tax this past December.
If the flat-rate parcel tax did have something to do with the failure of Measure PS, it was most likely for reasons that won’t help the council’s new bond proposal. The flat-rate parcel tax proposed in Measure PS actually increased property taxes on homeowners by over $13 million, relative to a GO bond.
So, if the mayor and the council want to blame the failure of Measure PS on the parcel tax, they should take note that its failure suggests homeowners prefer lower property taxes, not higher.
The square-footage parcel tax that the council recently rejected in favor of a GO bond would have done what Measure PS didn’t, it would have lowered residential property taxes by over $5 million and required commercial property owners, non-profits and the Colleges to all contribute substantially more to the cost of a new police station.
It’s obvious to anyone paying attention that the square-footage parcel tax the city council rejected is not the same parcel tax that was used in Measure PS as the mayor and council believe. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
To equate the two is misleading and does not provide justification for why he chose to increase taxes on working families by over $5 million while, at the same time, forcing the city council to panhandle outside Stig Lannesskog’s office.
The time is now
Claremont is one of the fortunate cities that can afford to have its own police department that reflects our community values. But that independent and good fortune comes with a price tag. We must reach in our own pockets to make sure that our officers have the training, equipment and facilities they need to keep our community safe.
Our 45-year-old police station is a bit of an embarrassment. It is not up to current earthquake standards. Facilties for female officers are in temporary structures in the parking lot. There are not enough rooms to separate crime victims from their suspects. The jail cells no longer meet state standards.
The electrical system cannot handle any more security camera feeds and fuses blow when a dispatcher plugs in a small heater, because the heating system is inadequate. Exterior security is insufficient for transferring suspects.
There is no space for probation, homeless, and mental health professionals to work on site, and the building is not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
In short, it’s not a place any self-respecting law enforcement professional would care to work. They have been patient long enough.
Replacing the building with a state-of-the-art public safety center must be Claremont voters’ highest priority.
After months of deliberation by a community task force, the city council has followed their recommendation and placed a funding measure on the?June ballot. It’s a good proposal. It’s half the cost of the last one, it utilizes the current site, and it is the least costly financing option. Everyone who values keeping our community safe should support it on June 5.
I’m very excited at the prospect of expanding the Village south towards the Hibbard lot. Redeveloping the area has the potential to help many local businesses gain a foothold in the area. I can’t wait to see how this project progresses.
Water consumers are suffering
Your readers are suffering under excessive water bills. Fortunately, a growing coalition seeks a solution to this problem by advocating for water rates reform.
As a primary source of news and information for a community relying upon water services from an investor-owned utility, this story is essential for readers who may have a personal stake in learning about a statewide nonpartisan water rates reform movement.
Topics of vital concern to your readers will be addressed at the California Summit for Water Rates Reform, an informational conference on Friday, February 16 in Lancaster.
The city of Lancaster recently adopted a resolution in support of California Coalition on Water Rates Reform and will provide facilities for the conference organized and presented by the coalition.
The coalition currently claims to advocate for about 1.5 million of the estimated 6.2 million Californians served by water companies whose rates are set by the California Public Utilities Commission.
The coalition will present findings in support of its call for legislative reform of CPUC rules, policies and practices in ratemaking cases. It is the coalition’s contention that the CPUC is enabling regulated monopolies to charge rates three to five times higher than those paid by customers of public water utilities.
Summit presentations will address specific, realistic solutions to existing and developing problems in CPUC regulation of investor-owned water utilities.
The meeting is of special interest to residents of Claremont. The city recently reached a $4.8 million settlement with Golden State Water Company after an attempt to acquire the rights to local water pipes via eminent domain.
According to the city, “the overwhelming majority of Claremont voters supported the city council’s decision to acquire the water system in order to control our water future.”
For further information about the coalition meeting in Lancaster, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
on Water Rates Reform