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Water rate increases - AGAIN?

Original post made by Toady, Old Palo Alto, on Apr 20, 2013

So they want to raise our water rates again. Tell me why there's justification to jack up our rates? They're blaming rate increases on maintaining infrastructure. If you need to raise rates to cover maintenance, um, this sounds like incompetence in managing what we have.

With all the junk flyers they stuff in our envelopes and wasteful stupid ideas that they have (remember the concept of digging through our trash?), that tells me there's a lot of fat in CPAU. Many people with too much time on their hands.

It's time to put the microscope on CPAU. We demand more transparency with our "municipal" utility to justify its tax increases on residences.

Comments (4)

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Posted by Lots of money to spend
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 20, 2013 at 7:27 pm

The Utilities Dept has been putting out a great many color brochures, announcements, lectures, demonstrations, etc. They seem to have lots of money for all that stuff.
For Earth day they are giving out all kinds of trinkets, it seems money is no object.
Is anyone minding the store?

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Posted by Bob
a resident of Community Center
on Apr 20, 2013 at 9:53 pm

The city just 'quietly' hired another 'mouthpiece at $175K a year. When he/she arrives, gets settled in his/her office with secretary/s, phones, etc., ask him or her why the rate increase? In the meantime, call us all 'suckers'. With all those employees supposedly with high educations, certainly someone can study something without going out of house and paying $$$$. It is time to get rid of the city manager system....get a real elected mayor responsible for what is going on, get rid of useless commissions. Clean house. A recall also might be in order.

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Posted by neighbor
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 21, 2013 at 2:53 pm

One gets the impression of wastefulness and carelessness with taxpayer money. We need more responsible local government, with salaries more in line with performance.

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Posted by Debra Katz
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 22, 2013 at 10:45 am

This response is not for those who are permanently hostile to everything the City does, but for those who may read the comments above and legitimately wonder about the justification for Utilities outreach literature and giveaways:

First, the total cost for Utilities outreach efforts is a tiny fraction of the costs to provide utilities services and so is not a factor in any rate changes.

Second, the literature included with the bills---which btw are always printed on 100% recycled paper and are all recyclable---provides information on services and programs available to customers, the majority of whom have informed us* this is the best and easiest way for them to get the information. (*via survey responses to these very questions)

Third, with very rare exception, our giveaways are items that either promote or demonstrate ways to be more energy and water efficient and are part of Palo Alto's very successful effort to both cut costs and reduce our carbon footprint. Some items are designed to educate and inspire community youth. Others, such as our refrigerator magnets and reusable tote bags, are designed to make it easy for customers to know who to contact and how when they want assistance. Far from representing frivolous use of money, these low-cost items save time and dollars for customers.

Debra Katz
Utilities Communications Manager
City of Palo Alto

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