Transparency needed from Smith, CAWA and Golden State

Sigh. Not only election mailers from CAWA, but now a past professor from Claremont McKenna College using a quasi-CMC letterhead as an obvious attempt to gain clout on Measure W.

While Rodney Smith may be knowledgeable on water issues, his anti-Measure W motives are apparent when one looks at his Internet trail.

His own bio talks about his web publication that covers “…developments in the emerging private corporate participation in western water matters” (my emphasis). So, his business interest is to make money off water for himself and those who are in the “water business” at our expense.

Sorry, but any objective professorial-academic perspective he could have provided on this issue is nullified by his work in the private sector to influence public policy in the name of profits to those who wish to own our water.

Also, Donna Lowe of CAWA complaining in last week’s COURIER about the city’s legal costs is absurd and ironic, considering she and her group are themselves actively contributing to the city’s legal costs. Let’s have the same transparency she demands from the city applied to CAWA, herself and its backers for its own election mailers and campaigning. Let’s see who is paying for what exactly.

As for the true costs of municipal water ownership: If Measure W costs me $348 a year but does away with Golden State’s unfair tiered rate structure, my water bill may actually go down. My penalty tiers were set after I had greatly reduced my irrigation demands. In addition, I have three more people living in my home than I had when the tiers were originally set. But neither Golden State nor the CPUC have cared to remedy this and amend my tier structure. They say there is nothing they can do. I disagree.

Locally-owned water is the way to go: of all the people I know in our surrounding communities that have locally-owned water, not one of them is unhappy with its service or rates. In contrast, how many people are unhappy with our privately-owned water company that asks for double-digit rate increases year after year, pays a huge guaranteed rate of return to its share-holders, and pays its CEOs and CFOs grossly inflated salaries that come directly from our faucets?

Mr. Smith, Ms. Lowe and CAWA continue to call the Measure W municipal bond a tax. Clearly, they consider“tax” a bad word and are hoping its use will scare voters into rejecting the bond. As a lifelong Claremont resident, I prefer instead to call Measure W “an investment in our future.”

Marcella Zita