Modesto City Clerk will not reveal water rate increases until after elections
I called the City Clerk and asked for the number of water rate increases in the last decade. I was put on hold for three to four minutes while they figured it out and then was told I would have to file a public records request.
Essentially, this means the information could be made available after the election on November 8th
As mayor, I often asked questions even if I knew the answer. Witness the demise of former Stanislaus County CEO Regan Wilson who gave the wrong answer.
As to water rates, I do have some answers without the help of the City Clerks Office. The fact is that water rates were not increased from 1995 to 2004.
As Mayor, from 1999 to 2003 we did not raise water rates because it was not necessary. The 218 law says government can’t charge taxpayers more for services than it costs to provide.
In a September 3, 2004 final report to the city by rate consultants, Foresight Consulting Services it states the following:
ADOPT A POLICY OF AUTOMATICALLY UPDATING WATER RATES AFTER YEAR 5 USING A CONSUMER PRICE INDEX ADJUSTMENT
As part of the City’s overall financial plan, we recommend the City adopt and implement a procedure to automatically update its water rates, beginning in Year 6 (July 1, 2009), using the Consumer Price Index, Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers Series for the San Francisco California Metropolitan Statistical Area (CMSA), prepared by the California Departmen of Finance, Deographics Research Unit.