Writer considers Madera’s water rates to be outrageous

January 5, 2018

Upset about the water rates that you paid last summer? With more rate increases on the way from the City of Madera, how happy will you be with your water rates this coming summer? Do you know that you are paying the highest water rates in the Valley? Don’t know who to complain to?

You now have a chance to have your voice heard. On Jan. 17, 2018, at 6 p.m., in the City Council Chambers, you will have a chance to voice your objection. It is imperative that we turn out as many Citizens of Madera as possible to let our Mayor and City Council know that we are not happy with what they are charging us for what is a basic necessity of life.

Please tell all of your friends and neighbors to help pack the Council Chambers on that day.

Some background information that you might not know regarding Madera’s Water Rates:

• Proposition 218 limits what cities may charge for water, sewer and garbage to no more than the actual cost of providing that service, which includes salaries for administration, replacement and maintenance costs. (As a side note, I have reviewed City of Madera salaries that are being charged to the Enterprise Funds (water, sewer and garbage) and believe that there are many employees who have nothing to do with those funds whose salaries are being paid by those funds. This practice is strictly not allowed by law, and in the case of Madera is highly questionable. (Makes me feel as though the City is attempting to balance their budget on our backs while still paying some of the highest salaries and the most generous benefits of 10 Valley Cities to their upper echelon).

• Some Cities in California have been sued for charging tiered water rates (Madera charges tiered water rates, but has not yet been sued) and most cities who were sued have lost those suits. When one of the cities appealed their suit they lost on appeal. This establishes legal precedence and may affect Madera. City of Lincoln, San Juan Capistrano and Hillsborough are among cities that have been hit by this ruling.

Please turn out in mass on Jan. 17 so that we may make it clear to our city Leaders that this practice of gouging the residents of our community has got to stop.

— Michael Pistoresi,

DMP Development Corp


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