Dear Editor: Claremont colonists in thrall to Golden State Water Company have suffered too long under “taxation without representation.” Like the patriots of 1776, they feel they have been overtaxed for water necessary to their daily needs. They now protest that these taxes mount phenomenally. Shouting “We need reasonable rates and local decision-making by representatives of the people,” these patriots have organized Claremont FLOW—Friends of Locally Owned Water. They believe in water managed publicly for the common good.
The bill of particulars they present to the public is this:
• Local control means owning our water system independent of the California Public Utilities Commission, as our neighbors do. • Our rates will be set in our own city, as our neighbors’ are.
• Rates will be based on actual local costs, not regional markets.
• We’ll pay no million-dollar executive salaries.
• We’ll send no lavish dividends to fill the coffers of far-away owners.
• We’ll save storm water so we can increase pumping from local wells.
• Conservation will save us both water and money—and we’ll not pay WRAM fees because we use less water.
We will control our future!
So, we’ll buy our water service and run it for the public good, not private profit, as so many neighbors do. We’ll not be discouraged by false warnings meant to scare us. We’re becoming wiser.
Some people worry it will raise our taxes. But this will not be paid by taxes. It will be paid off by a user fee, billed only to water users based on their monthly use, and kept separate from any other account. Where will we get the money? We can get up to $80 million from savings on our current bills.
To be cautious and democratic, the city is asking citizens to vote an additional $55 million, in case it’s needed, also to be paid by user fees. (No, we do not expect to pay $80 million plus $55 million, or $135 million, as some would have you believe. We will pay what a court decides, and the court will take into account the appraised value, which also happens to be $55 million.)
It’s important to have the facts. Let’s have a community dialogue, not depend on the back-and-forth of misleading statements and half-truths.
We can do this as we come together as Claremont Friends of Locally-Owned Water. Claremont FLOW!
As we celebrate Independence Day, our message is clear: Water for people, not for profit!
Freedom from fear, own your water! Protect your children’s water!
Claremont Friends of Locally-Owned Water