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Residents mount protest over utility-rate hikes

Original post made on May 30, 2007

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.

Read the full story here Web Link

Comments (9)

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Posted by Otto
a resident of Crescent Park
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.


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Posted by Joel Davidson
a resident of Barron Park
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!!


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Posted by Mike
a resident of College Terrace
on May 31, 2007 at 9:56 am

Mr. Davidson's plight needs to be tended to in a _serious_, non-token way. We are ramping up to almost 50% seniors in PA by 2030.

Where are the leading policy initiatives (or even conversations) that address Mr. Davidson's (and other senior's) legitimate concerns?

Candidates for City Council, here is an opportunity.


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Posted by pat
a resident of Midtown
on May 31, 2007 at 11:20 am

I compared our rates with a friend who lives in Cupertino:

PA after
PA now increase Cupertino
Electr/KWH $0.099 $0.104 $0.113
Water: CCF $4.19 $4.61 $3.35
Gas/Therm $1.43 $1.57 $1.49
Tax $8.21 included


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Posted by pat
a resident of Midtown
on May 31, 2007 at 11:27 am

Apparently there's no way to get tabular data to come through properly. Here's another version:

Electricity/KWH
- PA now: $0.099
- PA after increase: $0.104
- Cupertino: $0.113

Water: CCF
- PA now: $4.19
- PA after increase: $4.61
- Cupertino: $3.35

Gas/Therm
- PA now: $1.43
- PA after increase: $1.57
- Cupertino: $1.49

Tax
- PA now: $8.21
- Pa after increase: ?
- Cupertino: included


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Posted by Chuck Bradley
a resident of Midtown
on May 31, 2007 at 4:09 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 result 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!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Chuck Bradley
a resident of Midtown
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!


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on May 31, 2007 at 5:49 pm

If the Utility department got off this Greenie crap and concentrated on bringing us a secure source of gas and electricity at the lowest possible price I would support them. They don't so I don't.


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Posted by Otto
a resident of Crescent Park
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?


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