Council Votes to Double Sewer Rates - Ignores Over 2000 Protests
Council Votes to Double Sewer Rates
Dixon City Council voted at the regular meeting on Tuesday February 11 to
double sewer fees, despite receiving 2101 verified protests – about 700
protests short of the number needed to automatically stop the rate increase.
tone of the meeting was set early during discussion of allowing rates to be set
by Resolution instead of Ordinances. A resolution would go into effect
immediately while an ordinance has to be read twice then only goes into effect 30 days after passage following the second reading. Using a Resolution would allow less time for
citizens to prepare a referendum against a rate increase.
last time this item had come forward, councilman Steve Bird was absent, and the
resultant vote was a 2 to 2 tie – Councilman Jerry Castañon and Mayor Jack
Batchelor vote for the fast track rate increase ordinance while Councilmen Dane
Besneatte and Vice Mayor Thom Bogue voted against it
the February 11 meeting Councilman Jerry Castañon seconded the motion which the
Mayor was forced to make as no other Councilmember stepped forward. That
enabled the action to succeed as Councilman Steve Bird again supported it while
both Besneatte and Vice Mayor Thom Bogue again voted against it.
a large number of protests collected by the Dixon Chapter of the Solano County
Taxpayers Association - rather than
citizens submitting them directly to the city - the council voted unanimously
to close the “proposition 218 public notification and protest process” - despite
being told the notification process was flawed and violation of the State
Constitution by Ourania Riddle, the secretary of the Dixon chapter.
Public Comments, Ourania Riddle – the President of the Solano County
Taxpayers Association (SCTA),
told the council the City’s notification to the public of their right to protest violated the State Constitution because the City did not first prepare a list of affected property parcels, and some property owners and tenants were not notifieid.
state that rather than litigate, the taxpayers were attempting to educate the
council and staff as to the error of their ways in not following constitutional
city manager Warren Salmons stated “proceed with this action” as he felt
business would be restricted if improvements weren’t made. Salmons was the city
manager when it was suggested that piping sewer effluent water south of town at
a cost of $40 million was the appropriate solution. Tripled sewer rates to finance
that flawed project were defeated by Measure L in November 2006.
a more detailed report see the February 14, 2014 edition of Dixon’s Independent
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