What You Can Do About The Big Water Rate Hike

Dear Coalition of Sensible Taxpayers

The meeting lasted from 7:30 pm to 11:00 pm. These videos represent the first two hours. Please visit the related pages on this website to learn more about the Marin Municipal Water District rate hikes.

LATE BREAKING NEWS: Latest news on the rate hike from MMWD and CO$T’s official response: http://www.marinij.com/general-news/20170513/water-district-restructures-rate-hike-set-for-approval-tuesday

Podcast of the April 11, 2017 CO$T Demonstration here

Marin Municipal Water District has sent out formal notice of its proposal to raise water rates 7% on July 1, 2017 and a further 7% on July 1, 2018. This comes on the heels of two much larger rate increases just last year (2016) that increased many people’s bills 50-100%. Marin residents cannot afford such excessive rate hikes.

Unfortunately MMWD customers do not get a direct vote.

The most effective thing you can do is to demand that our elected MMWD directors DO THEIR JOB and represent our interests by controlling expenses and saying no to yet another water rate increase.

MMWD’s salaries and increases are generous. This, together with rapidly growing pensions and retiree health benefits (including for spouses) with cost of living adjustments, results in many MMWD jobs paying 50%-60% more than similar private sector positions.

In its less than transparent rate increase notice, MMWD claims 80% of its costs are fixed. The problem is that the district considers its high personnel costs as fixed! It’s up to the board to manage costs, not rubber-stamp what staff wants.

So here’s what you should do:
Email MMWD Directors as indicated in the box below. Tell them that you expect that, as your elected representatives, they will vote against the rate increase at their May 16 public hearing. MMWD’s board should then direct a comprehensive review of cost saving opportunities.
Attend and Speak up at the district’s ratepayer Meetings: April 11 public workshop and May 16 Public Rate Hearing. Details are in the second box below.
Send in the formal Rate Protest Form that’s on page 4 of the Rate Increase (Public Hearing) Notice you received in the mail. If you don’t have that, go to page 5 of the

PDF at this link. (Print page 5 and send before May 15th)

Note, however, in a further violation of transparency, MMWD fails to mention that that it takes more than half of their over 57,000 ratepayers sending in the Rate Protest form in order for ratepayers to overturn a rate hike. That’s why it’s important to contact the board directly.

Email MMWD’s Directors:

Larry Bragman – lbragman@marinwater.org
Jack Gibson – jgibson@marinwater.org
Cynthia Koehler – ckoehler@marinwater.org
Armando Quintero – aquintero@marinwater.org
Larry Russell – lrussell@marinwater.org

Attend and Speak Up at Upcoming MMWD Meetings:

Public Workshop on Rate Hikes – Tuesday April 11, 7PM – Corte Madera Community Center, 498 Tamalpais Drive, Corte Madera

Public Hearing (that’s when the board votes on formally approving the rates) –Tuesday May 16, 7:30PM – MMWD headquarters, 220 Nellen Avenue, Corte Madera

Wear a shirt the color of dollar bills, to remind MMWD’s directors whose money they’re spending. Also, bring a kitchen sieve, symbolizing that too much of our money is going down the drain. During the meeting, waive your sieve when MMWD’s statements don’t hold water!

More info:

MarinIJ 3/27/17
MarinIJ 3/22/17

What You Can Do About The Big Water Rate Hike
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