We didn’t hang around for the vote last night as it was evident how it would go, so here’s confirmation from the Fountain Valley Patch that 18 OCSD Directors didn’t believe that 61% in fee increases since 2005 wasn’t enough. Seven Board members voted against the increase. John Crandall reports:
Despite opposition from a number of residents, Orange County Sanitation District Board of Directors approved a sewer rate hike for northwest and central Orange County to be phased in over the next several years. The board voted 18-7 to increase sewer service charges by 4.8 percent this year and 2.4 percent each of the next four years. On July 1, the annual fee for the average single family home will become $14 in 2013 and about $8 each of the next four years. The 2013 fee of $294 will be $339 by 2017-18.
More than one public speaker (from the completely filled room that’s fire-rated for 99 occupants) mentioned the impact on seniors with fixed incomes. Given 72% of the Directors in favor, over an hour’s worth of public comment were ignored — nearly everyone who spoke was opposed to the increases. Baron Night from Buena Park also made some credible criticisms of the very low returns the OCSD was receiving on certain investments.
We obtained the detail on how each Director or Alternate voted — the Aye votes are worth remembering when they’re next up for election. So are those who voted more responsibly. There were two specific Agenda Items for the rates increase, #6 covered residential rates, #7 covered industrial rates. All Directors or their Alternates voted; there were no absentees or abstentions:
From their website, here’s the list of OCSD Directors and Alternates:
We challenged the OCSD on this four days ago: Prove it, OCSD. We were also reminded by our friend Steve Sarkis of a post we’d done in January on OCSD Chairman Troy Edgar’s success with biosolids: Troy Edgar’s BS (Biosolid) Leadership Costs the OC $3.5 Million. Steve has some interesting ideas on how the OCSD noticed this increase and took protests by snail mail — we hope he’ll detail them here, and the actions he’s taking, in a comment.
It wasn’t a very good night for ordinary taxpayers.