Residents mount protest over utility-rate hikes Palo Alto Issues, posted by Editor, Palo Alto Online, on May 30, 2007 at 11:22 am
Palo Alto's proposed monthly water-meter fee -- which is one of several utility rate hikes set to kick in on July 1 -- caused a big scare for Joe Baldwin, treasurer for the All Saints Episcopal Church.
Posted by Otto, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on May 30, 2007 at 11:22 am
The revenue is necessary, but the way the increase is being handled is a tactical blunder, especially when one considers that residents who are challenged by these fees will be voting on future bond issues.
Palo Alto needs 1) someone on board who really understands how to market benefits to residents; and 2) someone on board who really understands how to open significant new business opportunities. (btw, our current business development person does a fine job, but that job is done within the understood boundaries of municipal business development).
We hear a lot around here lately about "innovation". Our city staff does a fine job, but perhaps it's time to innovate structural change in our municipal government so that it can meet tomorrow's challenges, head-on, instead of managing from a crisis-engagement mode.
Posted by Joel Davidson, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on May 30, 2007 at 9:35 pm
I have sent my letters of protest to the City Clerk as well. We are asked to join the greening of Palo Alto and I have by reducing my trash to a 20 gallon use of being full once every 6 months. Yet I still have to pay the new fee of $19 every month (that's $114 for 2 pickups).
I have one of the lowest water uses that the Santa Clara Valley Water District audit indicated and now I have to pay for the meter use. I am on a fixed income and even with the low income discount my fees will continue to rise. Help. I'm drowning!!
Posted by Chuck Bradley, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on May 31, 2007 at 4:18 pm
The 2007-08 proposed utility rate increases marks the third consecutive year for significant cost increases to the residents.
I used the Utilities Department supplied average homeowner cost figures and ran the numbers to show the impact of the proposed 2007-08 rate increases.
Prior to the July 2005 rate increases, the average homeowner paid $2,603 a year for all utilities. With the proposed 2007-08 increases, the average homeowner will pay $3,578 a year for utilities – an increase of $975 a year!
That’s an increase of 37.5% for all utilities just in the last three years. These excessive costs are out of proportion with any other cost of living expenses in the Peninsula area!
Posted by Otto, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on May 31, 2007 at 6:29 pm
I think we need to take a serious look at whether it's time to consider selling PAU, per a prior post in this forum. Maybe that's a bad idea, maybe not. Why not look into this, to see what might result?