Many residents of Live Oak and Carbonera may not realize that they pay more for the water they drink than the residents in the City of Santa Cruz who drink the same water from the same system. Currently, a 14.5% surcharge, is levied to over one-third of the ratepayers in the City’s Water District. Even though non-City residents have been part of the system since 1932, there has been a history of rate surcharges that were not related to the actual cost of delivering the water. Instead, decisions have been made politically as it related to the long abandoned possibility of annexing Live Oak into the City, a long-standing myth that non-City residents don’t pay for water infrastructure, and a lack of representation on the water board that makes the rate setting decisions (which consists only of the City Council). Five years ago, we were paying 27.5% more. I pushed at that time for a rate study, the district claimed they could charge non-City residents more, but they reduced the rate to its current 14.5%. This past Monday, the City of Santa Cruz Water Commission held a meeting during which they discussed the elements that would help craft the next five-year rate plan. Working with Linda Wilshusen, the only non-City representative on the advisory commission, we drafted a memo detailing the history of the charges and presented it to the group. Joined by other leaders in the community, we pressed the case for finally eliminating the surcharge. Linda will be joining me for this week’s Town Hall to talk about the fascinating and disturbing history of these surcharges. You can read the memo here.

TODAY Wednesday, Sept. 16
6 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Please click the link below to join the webinar:

Or Dial: +1 253 215 8782 or +1 669 900 9128 or +1 346 248 7799 or +1 646 558 8656
Webinar ID: 944 1328 0643

In addition to zoom, this meeting can be viewed on my Supervisor Leopold Facebook page.  No account is necessary to view on Facebook.