They did it.
Last night the new city council killed the “in-lieu” franchise fee that illegally tacked on an additional 10% to our water bills. Redeeming their campaign pledges, Travis Kiger and Greg Sebourn led the charge, along with Bruce Whitaker. Doug Chaffee followed their lead, as did Sharon Quirk-Silva.
So after a year’s dilatory foot-dragging by city staff and a clueless council majority, the deal is done, effective July 1st, 2012. Future rate increases necessary for infrastructure maintenance will be treated, rightly, as a separate issue, as will any legitimate indirect and overhead costs from the City.
And Bruce Whitaker succinctly summed up the what happens to the money – $2.5 million a year – that is tacked on and skimmed off. 70% went to pay for non-water related salaries, benefits, and pension costs. The scam lasted for over forty years.
I offer my profound thanks to the council for doing the right thing.
Also invigorating was the minor tsunami of requests from councilmen for future agenda items:
Kiger: a study of nepotism in the police department; a fireworks referendum.
Sebourn: an independent audit of City Hall; a report on police disciplinary statistics.
Whitaker: discussion of disclosure to council of public records requests.
Doug Chaffee: discussion of direct council hiring (and presumably oversight) of the police chief.
It was refreshing and exciting to finally see a Fullerton city council take charge, direct policy issues, and deliver on campaign promises.
Well done, and thank you!