Measure W provides options

I just finished reading the last issue of the COURIER (I was out of town over the weekend and just got to it). I find yet another ad paid for by Golden State Water that says “Measure W will immediately raise water rates by 20 percent.” This is utter malarkey.

What nobody has pointed out in all the discussion I have read is that Measure W only gives the city authorization to issue bonds to purchase the water system. Said bonds won’t be issued until they are needed, and then only in the amount needed. So, there can be no immediate rate increase (not by the city, that is. Golden State, on the other hand, is likely to raise our rates at any time).

The bonds might never even be issued—for example, if the water system ends up costing a gazillion dollars (as accurate an estimate as the numbers in Golden State’s propaganda), the city can decline to purchase it and therefore not need the bonds.

It might be best to think of Measure Was something akin to getting pre-approved for a mortgage when buying a house. Pre-approval does not mean you start making payments, nor does it mean you actually are forced to buy something. Similarly, Measure W will not cause the city to immediately issue bonds that we must begin paying for. Nor does it force the city to pay a price more than$135 million for the water system.

Jon Vayrus