This is an archive of a past election.|
See http://www.smartvoter.org/ca/mnd/ for current information.
Service Charge Collection
Brooktrails Township Community Services District
Initiative - Majority Approval Required
Pass: 737 / 53.64% Yes votes ...... 637 / 46.36% No votes
Index of all Measures
|Results as of Nov 23 9:55am, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (6/6)|
|Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Full Text|
Shall the Brooktrails Township Community Services District stop collecting water and sewer service charges from customers who have requested their water service be turned off?
Yes or No
The proposed measure states that the District shall not collect base rate service charges, or any other service charges, for water or sewer service, for more than two days after the customer has requested discontinuance of service. The measure also prohibits the District from requiring a parcel owner to relinquish a water or sewer connection as a condition of discontinuing service. In the event that the property owner requests resumption of service, the District shall be prohibited from imposing a fee for more than the reasonable cost to resume service.
This measure requires voter approval by a simple majority vote of the qualified voters.
A YES vote will be a vote in favor of adoption of the proposed measure
A NO vote will be a vote against the adoption of the proposed measure.
s/ Jeanine B. Nadel
|Arguments For Measure D||Arguments Against Measure D|
|Everyone should have the right to decide which
services they want to receive. Nobody would expect
to pay for telephone service, cable TV service,
electric service, DMV fees, or for any other service
they did not use. The District initiated a policy that
took away every parcel owner's right to turn off their
water to obtain service fees from 21 lot owners who
had their water turned off. The District's policy leads
to a situation where the District turns off water for
non-payment while continuing to charge the property
owner at the full base rate. This charge eventually
becomes a lien on the property if not paid.
In 1996, voters passed Proposition 218, which states in part: "No fee or charge may be imposed for a service unless that service is actually used by, or immediately available to, the owner of the property in question. Fees or charges based on potential or future use of a service are not permitted. Standby charges, whether characterized as charges or assessments, shall be classified as assessments and shall not be imposed without compliance with Section 4."
Compliance with "Section 4" meant that standby charges would have to be approved by voters, in addition to meeting other requirements before assessments could be imposed. However, in interpreting Proposition 218, the courts held that charges for water and sewer service when water is locked off by the District are not really standby charges, but fees for a service that is actually being received. It is hard to imagine that property owners are receiving service even when their water is locked-off by the District. This unjust interpretation of Proposition 218 by the courts needs to be corrected.
Please vote yes on this initiative and reclaim the right to control the charges on your property.
This measure would benefit only those who have active connections, but who choose not to receive service. This measure would leave you to pick up their share of maintaining the overall system.
s/ Mike Chapman
|This measure will not reduce utility rates in
Brooktrails except for customers that have active
"utility connections with service" that have been
temporarily disconnected by customer choice.
Brooktrails collects primary utility operating costs through a base rate. If customers with active connections to the system can evade a proportionate contribution to the base rate, then those evaded costs would have to be collected from other customers who occupy their homes and receive ongoing service. In other words, unless your home is vacant your rates would increase by reason of this measure.
This measure would provide relief to those homes who, while remaining connected to our utility service, decline to receive utility service. Since the primary costs are presently recovered by the base rates, the exemption of a class of ratepayers such as the one proposed in this initiative, would, in fact, require those not in the exempted class to pick up a further proportionate share. As it stands now, each home in Brooktrails with an active utility connection pays a proportionate share of the primary operating costs. This measure, for example, would exempt owners of homes such as banks who have foreclosed upon a home and the home remains vacant.
The primary costs for utility service includes debt payment upon upgrades to the utility system mandated by regulators. Examples include the 2006 upgrade(s) to the water plant, the 2008 modification of the Lake Emily Dam, and the ongoing City sewer plant upgrade. These costs should be spread among all customers with active connections to the utility system. This measure would exempt a certain class from any payment at all, and raising the costs of the other vast majority of connections.
s/ Mike Chapman
Brooktrails is expected to receive $25,672 in annual base rate revenue from 24 new water connections it recently received, and $569,064 from selling 24 new connections. This will more than offset the $22,463 in lost annual base rates from the estimated 21 parcels that might discontinue service if Measure D passes.
The Willits sewage treatment plant has often been
used as an excuse for raising rates. Brooktrails'
Brooktrails is financially solid. Recently, Brooktrails was unable to obtain federal grant money as Willits did because Brooktrails was deemed to be in compliance with regulations and not in need of grant money.
Expressing confidence in the District's financial strength, the General Manager included a 38% increase in administrative salaries in this year's budget. Overall, Brooktrails budgeted wages and benefits are up from $790,281 in 2003, to $1,212,297 in 2010. But the District's financial strength is not the issue. Property owners should have control of the charges on their property, not Brooktrails. Measure D will return control of charges to property owners.
|Full Text of Measure D|
|AN INITATIVE TO PREVENT THE BROOKTRAILS
TOWNSHIP COMMUNITY SERVICES DISTRICT FROM
IMPOSING MANDATORY WATER AND SEWER BASE
RATES AFTER SERVICE HAS BEEN DISCONTINUED
Section 1. Purpose
Section 2. Charging after Service Discontinued or
Charging Service Charges Based on Pipes
Connected to Water or Sewer System Prohibited
Section 3. Interpretation and Severability