To close an $18-million budget gap, the city proposes cuts in some worthy services and [increase] user fees for others.
At the June 21 City Council meeting, a council member sought to shift the blame for these measures to those whose efforts resulted in City Council’s suspension of the unconstitutional $4.2-million Charter-authorized transfer of water fees to the General Fund. As one involved in that effort, I must comment.
The state Constitution, as amended by Proposition 218, mandates that water fees be used only to provide water service for the rate payers. Some members of the public have for months publicly pointed out that over the past few years, the council has made Charter-authorized transfers of water fees from the waterworks to the General Fund, where those fees are not used to provide water service to the ratepayers. In doing so, council members violated their oath of office, which requires them to uphold the state Constitution.