Friday, March 15, 2013

Sewer Rate Increase Workshop

Last night I attended, along with five (5) other residents, the workshop hosted by the Costa Mesa Sanitary District at the Neighborhood Community Center intended to provide information about the proposed sewer rate increase planned for later this year.

CMSD General Manager Scott Carroll and consultants John Farnkopf and Richard Simonson - hired to provide the study that resulted in the proposed rate restructuring - were joined by Directors Jim Ferryman, Bob Ooten, Mike Scheafer and Arlene Schafer in a free-flowing, casual discussion of the issue with us.

Handouts included the 25-page Sewer Rate Study, available for review on the CMSD website HERE, and a FAQ sheet, HERE.  Unfortunately, because the study is necessarily founded on assumptions instead of measurable facts, some of the attendees probably left dissatisfied.  I suspect some of you will feel similarly if you take the time to plow through the detail of the report.

The proposed new rate structure will remedy what the consultants perceive as an inequity between what residential users pay versus what commercial users pay to move their sewage.  The rates proposed for beginning with the fiscal year 2013/2014 will theoretically adjust that inequity - single family residential users will carry a greater portion of the burden.  Their rates will go from $69.00 per year to $85.34 - a change of just over 16%.  Here's a chart from their FAQ sheet that displays the changes proposed.  Click on the image to enlarge it.

Some attendees attempted to turn the meeting into a budget discussion, questioning District costs, salaries, pensions, etc.  Of course, while the questions may be valid, this was the wrong venue.  We were there to be briefed on how the new rates were established - and we received that information.  The District will be beginning their budget discussions soon and Carroll invited the public to attend those meetings at the District Headquarters.

Most of us received the required notice of the public hearing proposing these rate adjustments.  And, we also received a notice from the Orange County Sanitary District about THEIR plan to also increase rates.  So, this will be a double-whammy for sewer processing rates.  The hearing on THAT increase will be held later this month.

Residents who oppose the CMSD rate increase may formally oppose it by writing to the District.  At one vote per parcel it will require more than 13,000 parcel owners - half of the total number of parcels covered by the CMSD - to protest and halt this increase.  Based on the turnout last night, I think the chances of that happening are pretty darn slim.

I looked through all the information provided and listened to the questions and answers last night.  At this point, I think I understand the methodology and the need for the rate increase.  If you review the information on the website and still have questions contact the District.

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Anonymous Mesa Mustang said...

Pot Stirrer, it is clear people don't care. The Sanitary District quietly voted to give themselves health benefits, used their lawyers to squeeze out the only memeber who asked any questions, and now they jacking up our rates. People on this blog spend so much time and energy attacking our Council, they don't see that corrupt special districts are stealing from us. These guys are thieves. I hope people will step up and start challenging this old boys network and start acting in favor of the residents and rate payers.

3/15/2013 08:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Troll Tracker said...

Pony boy "Mustang" is the liar here. The "only member who asked questions," Fitzpatrick, was there to disrupt and try to help his master take over those seats. Good people resisted and he failed. Even Mansoor declined to introduce a bill and get involved with such a cluster.

3/15/2013 10:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Tracker lost scent said...

"Slim turn out", you could not be talking about the Board Members?

Troll Tracker lives in his own world. Mansoor wrote a letter to the AG saying he would carry legislation. It was the good ole boys who ignored it. They don't like Fitzy and they don't like Mansoor. Remember "return to reason"? Did you see who all the good ole boys endorsed?

We hope Fitzy stays involved over there. He is the only one that knows where the bodies are buried.

Funny how the Trolls get almost every issue wrong. The masters did not want Fitzy to run. They did not think he could win, but he did.

Stay angry though, we think it helps this blog stay irrelevant.

3/15/2013 11:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Nothing's Shocking said...

This blog is so irrelevant that you continue to read and post your drivel. Plus one to you, Tracker!

3/15/2013 01:10:00 PM  
Anonymous trollpuppetbootlicker said...

i am a troll.

Mesa Mustang is over the top in calling electeds "thieves", thus what he writes should be disregarded immediately. He may not like the way district funds are spent but perhaps instead of calling them thieves he could just say he does not believe some of their spending is appropriate. this helps a dialog. "Thieves" stops it dead.

3/15/2013 01:20:00 PM  
Anonymous out to pasture said...

voted to give themselves health benefits? Those scoundrels

3/15/2013 01:44:00 PM  
Anonymous HAHAHAHA said...

Hey Troll[fill in the blank],

You are delightfully consistent!

Dialog at CMSD? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, that is funny. Are you high or what?

Pot Stirrer, why no hue and cry when they discarded many very highly qualified, some even subject matter experts, candidates for the CMSD seat so they could appoint Arlene?

The voters replaced her with Fitzy - she lost an election, yet the Crony Brigade at CMSD wanted to shut Fitzy up and get her back.

3/15/2013 04:00:00 PM  
Anonymous trollpuppetbootlicker said...

HAHAHA: yes, I think dialog is important. I voted for the two losing candidates for the san district seats in hopes of stopping the misguided use of ratepayer money to oust fitz and appoint Arlene. Did not work out. Arlene is definitely qualified but I had hoped for someone else to be appointed. So, that didn't work out. I am hoping the trash contract will be bid out. That will probably not work out either. BUT, even though I have much disagreement with the current board I would not call them "thieves" but would call it inappropriate action "in my eyes". The voters thought different and I have to respect that and move on. At least the current board has kept the sewers running, upgraded the infrastructure, and keeps the trash picked up along with sponsoring beneficial programs. I can perhaps convince them to bid out the trash contract by avoiding calling them thieves and alienating them from the start. These are elected officials and deserve respect. Yes, I wish Harper and Mathews were elected instead of the incumbents but the election is over. Time to move on and work together. Hopefully this attitude will catch on with the frogs and the way they continue to blast at the boyz. I am a troll, I am not calling someone a troll. I think you misunderstood. I am against the frogs. well said alf?

3/16/2013 06:53:00 AM  
Anonymous sk said...

The sanitary district voted to give directors health benefits and the directors reimburse the district the cost of those benefits. The costs to the district to provide the service is almost null. Mustang your even stating this is misinformation and misleading and you know it.

3/16/2013 08:25:00 AM  
Anonymous the bachelor said...

i will become a troll, too! I compared the frog women to the troll women and it is no contest, the trolls have some hotties.

3/16/2013 08:58:00 AM  

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