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(Editor’s note: Redding City Councilman Michael Dacquisto published the following post on his Facebook page in response to a vote taken by himself and fellow council members Tuesday night. Dacquisto gave aNewsCafe.com permission to republish his FB post here today.)
The Redding City Council just voted 3-2 to impose rate increases of 4% per year on water, 4% per year on wastewater and 3% per year on solid waste. These increases will be cumulative for the next 4 years. I voted no. Council members Adam (McElvain) voted no. Kristen (Schreder), Julie (Winter) and Erin (Resner) agreed with city staff and voted yes.
I voted no because per latest audited financial report (1) the water utility account has about $44.5 million in cash and cash equivalents as of June 2019 and increased its cash and cash equivalents from June 2018 to June 2019 from $33.1 million to $40.9 million with no rate increase, (2) the waste water utility account has about $40.3 million in cash and cash equivalents as of June 2019 and (3) the solid waste utility account has about $29.2 million in cash and cash equivalents as of June 2019 and increased its cash and cash equivalents from June 2018 to June 2019 from $24.2 million to $26.7 million with no rate increase.
This should be more than enough money to get through the next few years without increasing rates. The principal reason for the requested increase was to start to accumulate funds for anticipated capital improvements to be made in the next 5, 10 and 15 years. In addition, the timing is terrible. When the county is trying to pass a sales tax increase to deal with a much more pressing issue, high crime and no jail space, I think it is a slap in the face of the voters by the city and does nothing to help the county try and get the sales tax passed. It does not help the lack of trust issue with the voters and the city council.
The issue is not whether you do agree or do not agree with the proposed county sales tax increase. The issue is which item is more important, increasing tens of millions of dollars of existing reserves for future anticipated utility projects, 10 years in the future, or trying to get more money, now, to increase jail space and the related matters.
You should watch the video and come to your own conclusions. I know where I stand.
If you are so inclined, send emails to the city council, pro or con, and I promise you they will be forwarded on to all council members or to specific council members, depending on how they are addressed.
Michael Daquisto, Redding City Councilman
Redding City Council contact information:
phone: (530) 225-4447
fax: (530) 225-4463
8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
777 Cypress Avenue
Redding, CA 96001