Wednesday, August 02, 2006

City Proposes Water and Sewer Rate Increase

Lynwood, CA - Local newspaper reports proposed Water and Sewer rate increase.

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20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well. you just keep hiking all the utilities and the residence are going to hate you council member more!!!Don't you council member remember why your in office. It's to protect and maintain the best interest of the people of Lynwood. There not protecting us at all!! They just keep setting theirselve up to make more money and to take more trips. I would be ashamed to see my neighbors if I were a council member.How do you crooks sleep at nite?

Aide Castro said...

My fellow residents, I need your help tonight. Their will be a workshop tonight at Bateman Hall to discuss our rates being increased. The workshop will begin at 6pm. The residents of Lynwood need to show a united front, to make sure that the fees being increased will be for the benefit of the community. Regardless of everyone's personal political view, I feel this is an issue we must work together on.

On August 1st at 9am I was given the opportunity by our City Manager, to have a meeting with staff regarding question I had in reference to the fee increases. The individuals present where Mr Martinez (City Manager), Mr Ojeda (Public Works), Mr Taylor (Building and Planning), Ms Marysheva (Finance), and myself Aide Castro. My first question was in regards to the street sweeping contract. I asked why is it that we need to increase the fee for sweeping if the vendor himself is not charging us more. I explained that it was my understanding that it is against the law for cities to make a profit on the residents. I was advised by staff that the street sweeping fees are actually still in negotiation. Because of enviromental safety concerns our City Manager would like the vendor to use natural gas powered machines to perform it's task. The vendor is currently using diesel powered machines. The diesel powered machines, do comply with enviromental policies. It is my opinion that although natural gas is good for us, we really need to look a little deeper into the benefits and consequences. By asking a vendor to purchase new machines he in turn would need to pass on his expense to us the residents. How much of a difference do these machines have? Why is it that this vendor has successfully maintained accounts with at least 45 other cities? My family and I don't support the change if it ultimately provides the same quality service. If the service provided by the vendor is not up to par, then in this negotiation a standard of service must be demanded. I also feel that we must try to include the sweeping of the alleys. So if the increase is to provide better service, great. However I would in turn ask for an itemized invoice of all services to be provided, so that the increase can be justified. At the moment per staff we are spending about 1.2 million. The residents are only paying about 200k. This leaves us negative 1 million dollars. Simple math shows that some changes must be done to balance the spending. The question is are we making sure that the funds are being used appropriately? I was not shown on paper anything to prove the information I was told by staff. So I can't really say that we are in the negative that I was told. I'm almost 100% sure that with more then 15,000 households in this city we are paying more then 200k. My second question was in regards to the water increase. I was told that water fees had not been increased in about 7 years. That in itself does not justify an increase of 30% and up to 50% through the 5 years that the increase is proposed for. I was advised that the water department reserves were being depleted. So I asked what happend to the water bond we had. I was told by staff that it was used to build the senior center. I was also reminded that the bond company we used recommended the water increases. Sounds reasonable, right? No, I sit on CDBG commission and we have allocated funds for the building of the senior center. Not to mention that Consolidated (our trash collector) also had advanced us 800k for the center as well. Although it was written up in the bond to use some of the funds for the center, not all the money went towards the center. So where is the rest of the money? Again I ask for a break down of how the monies will be allocated. However a fee increase must happen. In my research I was only able to justify about a 10% increase over the 5 years. What staff is proposing is too much and not realistic to the incomes of the families in Lynwood. My last question was why we were being charged so much in permits for business and residential building. I gave an example using the new fee schedule staff provided for public information. I gave staff the example of me possibly building an enclosed patio. Per the fee schedule I would be charge 84 dollars per square foot. That means that if I am building a 100 square foot patio I would be charged $8,400. I was told that my calculations were incorrect, so I took out my calculator. Simple math proved my point. Mr Martinez (City Manager) asked for Mr Taylor (Building and Planning) to be called into the meeting to explain the fees. While waitng Mr Martinez (City Manager) tried to justify the fees by explaining that My property would increase in value due to the addition by about 25k, so fees where worth it in the long wrong. I advised Mr Martinez (City Manager) that he was incorrect. I explained that my expertise as a Realtor and Loan Officer totally go against his opinion. For example, an enclosed patio only gives you an added value of about $2,500 to $5,000 in an appraisal report. In turn I would still be hit by the county assesor's office for extra property taxes wich the city already is receiving, after being re-assesed. So I ask how am I being benefited as a resident by paying so much in fees. We as residents don't have a partnership with the city of Lynwood so it doesn't make a difference whether we have more equity. Either way just because we have more equity doesn't actually mean we have more money. We would have to mortgage our properties to have access to the money and we would have to make payments (He used a terrible example). He then tried to explain it was to pay for the man power. I answered I didn't think 30 minutes worth of writting out a permit had the value of $8,400 in fees. At that moment Mr Taylor (Building and Safety) entered the room. He advised me that the fee schedule was wrong and that we are only going to be charged a percentage. That made more sense. So today he will have acurate figures of what exactly our fees will be. I advised our City Manager that I was happy we were able to identify the mistake. I explained that if those fees were to be accurate it would cause for residents to possibly not obtain permits for their additions. We shouldn't pay more in fees of what the actual cost to build will be. Goes to show that like all humans staff makes mistakes. This is why our council has the responsibility to review before approving. For example Mr Martinez (City Manager)advised me that we have 10 million dollars in our general account reserves so we never needed to make budget cuts when we did. In my research I found out that we do have those reserves, but they are their to back up the bonds we have. So in reality we don't have access to that money, so it's like not having it.

Our staff is not perfect, but I can honestly tell you that they tried really hard to make sure I felt comfortable with their answers. The important thing is that we speak up and ask questions, so we can give our staff another point of view of how we as residents will be affected by their recommendations to council. Our staff does this for a living so they need to make sure the information is given to the public accurately. Most residents don't understand much of city business, and it can be very intimidating to ask question when you really don't know how the system works. Staff encouraged me several times through the meeting for me to ask questions. Although I disagree with some of their recommendations, I can at least say we had a positive, productive, and informative meeting. I guarantee you my fellow residents that we can avoid many of these fees by cutting out consultants who simply ask you what do you want, and write a report to tell you what you want to hear. I also ask, are all these new positions being created needed? Are we looking at other avenues to increase revenue before asking the residents to pay more for services? It is my opinion that the vision of our City Manager is a good one. But again I ask, at what cost? Is it worth it? Some say his vision is good because he wants us to be like Pasadena. Okay, sounds good. Some say it's bad because we aren't Pasadena. Some say, why can't we be like Pasadena? My opinion is I would love to be like Pasadena. However Lynwood does not have residents with the income of Pasadena residents. That is where the difference shows. When people purchase homes in Pasadena they pay much more for their properties, wich in turn generate more property taxes for the city. Pasadena pays the same as us in fees, difference being they have more residents. So reality is we will never be like Pasadena. Can we look as nice, that's a different issue. This goes back to simple math, only spend what you can afford. Our City Manager has forgotten that we are a humble working class community. We also have about 53% renters per staff. I doubt it greatly that Pasadena has that percentage in renters. Let's use the State of California as an example, they are currently going after every single resident and vendor for monies owed to the state. Not to mention big businees special interest are also being forced to pay their fair share. Taxes filed are baing compared to resale permit filings to verify the actual profits. In other words their actually checking and balancing. Why aren't we going after and prosecuting those who owe us or have stolen from us. Some say it cost too much. I don't see how it cost so much if we can also ask for legal fees to be reinbursed. The city of South Gate is a perfect example of sending a message to vendors of no tolerance for fraud and corruption. They have won almost all of the litigations. HUD has fined the city of Lynwood millions because of unethical staff and developers. Is it not common sense that these developers who benefited by receiving the monies should reinburse the city of Lynwood?

I ask that you please join me in my efforts for the benefit of the community. Call your elected officials, City Manager, and attend council meetings and voice your concern. Please contact me at 310-438-1569 if you would like to organize against the fee increases. Thanks for reading my comment and I apologize for any grammar errors.

Sincerely,
Aide Castro

Anonymous said...

Dear Ms. Castro,

Thank you for being a voice for the people. I will be the first one to admit that I wish I was as dedicated and proactive as you are with regards to safeguarding OUR interests as citizens of Lynwood. I commend you for your efforts and appreciate the fact that you are sharing your progress with us. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Aide,

Yo estoy de acuerdo en organizarnos para parar el exagerado aumento de impuestos y los aumentos en los servicios que recivimos.
Para que yo apoye cualquier aumento, Primero tenemos que obligar a los concejales que desistan de contratar guaruras/asistentes personales y dejar de viajar tanto.
Reducir el prosupuesto personal de los electos y administradores de la ciudad.
Con respecto a los contratos de la basura y barredoras es un mandato del estado de California de tener una flota de vehiculos con la mejor technologia disponible.
Asi como catalizadores y demas.
Porque la salud de nuetros ninos y ansianos es importante!
No queromos vehiculos com los Trolies Rojos de Lynwood que dejan una nuve NEGRA cada ves que arrancan, imaginate lo repiran esos ninos, ademas toma como ejemplo a Consolidated Disposal Incluyo 10 camiones de CNG como condicion del contrato y dicen los que votaron por el que emos ahorrado dinero.
Todo tiene ver de como negosean el contrato y no reparten dinero por anticipado por los votos.
Lo que necesitamos es un Recall Total!! Byrd,Leticia,Fernado,Alfredie, y Maria.
Solo haci podremos esperar justicia para los residentes de Lynwood...

Att:

Lynwood Watch Dog

Aide Castro said...

Gracias por su apoyo en este tema. Podria usted ayudarme con mas informacion referiente la basurera. Yo sufro de asma, so estoy de acuerdo con su opinion. Yo no se de las diferencias en la maquinaria que se puedan usar. Pero mientras mas informacion tengamos, podemos tener una opinion mas educada.

Gracias,
Aide Castro

PS August 15th 6pm at City Hall council will be holding a public hearing regarding the increases. This is our opportunity to voice our concerns with our elected officials. If anyone would like to collect some signatures against the increases please contact me at 310-438-1569. I hope to see a good turn out of residents.

Anonymous said...

Aide,

You talk too much!
You are so full of yourself!
Why are you meeting with the CM and Department Heads? You are no one to be taking up staff time like that! (or did you forget that you lost that election).
And lose your hard on for Housing staff and the rest of the employees before one of them files a law suit against you the same way they did to your cousing Fernando!

Aide Castro said...

I'm sorry that you don't care enough about your community to make a personal effort to make a difference. Remember that the taxes we all pay as residents is to pay for staff. It is the obligation of staff to answer all of our questions. Me loosing an election is not an issue. What are you doing to help the community? Better yet, what is council doing? Regarding housing, everyone knows I can't be sued for speaking the truth :-) People like you, are what have our city in the state it's in. You love to critize, but you offer no solutions. Your petty attempt to stop my effort only makes me realize that I'm pushing the right buttons. Exposing the truth should be everyones priority. What is your priority? Or is it that you are in support of rate increases? To answer your question, I am a resident of Lynwood who has the right to question my local government on how my money is being used. That is who I am.

Anonymous said...

To Aide,
Tell me how it helped the community when you bought your "gift" home using false information? We all saw your application Aide, two made up nieces and nephews so that your "fiance's" income qualified. I do more than you will ever know for my community, I just do it quietly and without looking for a pat on the back for my efforts, unlike you! I didn't vote for Fernando or Leticia or Lou. I didn't vote for you either. I am a small majority of residents that wanted change, honest government and not some loudmouth welfare recipient either.

Anonymous said...

The fact of the marter is that if don't get our act together, council will vote to increase the rates.
Just like they did with the Water rates where only 2-5 residents showed up at the meetings/work shops,
they conducted throughout the city, I saw more Staff then residents.
Then we couldnt' stop it afterwards!
Fernando Pedroza has asked the city attorney during a council meeting if there were any consecuenses if Park Water customers will have any legal right to sue the city if council Voted to take away the waiver on the Utility Tax. Beltran Replied NO BUT when it comes for re-election you might see a problem then FERNI Back OFF from voting in favor.

"WE DO HAVE THE POWER TO STOP IT BUT ONLY IF WE DO IT NOW."

Remeber the South Central Farmers I don't think they attened any PUBLIC Hearings regarding their farms and you see what happened!!

When they anounce a "Public Hearing" it means we must show up and stop whetever is going to afect the whole community.

That is if you pay any bills in the city, but if you don't and you are only an employee that lives out of Lynwoodd you better shut your mouth and earn your pay check.

Lynwood Watch Dog!

Aide Castro said...

If you saw my complete application you would know that nothing was falsified. You were shown only what was to their convenience. My fiance purchasing a home benefited the community with extra property taxes, but of course that doesn't matter to you. I am proud to be who I am. I am not ashamed to say that I needed assistance for 2 years. If you insult me being a welfare recipient you are insulting about 50% more residents in the city of Lynwood. If you think all I'm looking for is a pat in the back, that's fine I respect you're opinion. But I don't see how informing my community is a negative thing. All you are basically saying, is that because you don't like me nothing I do can be good. Action speaks louder than words, as many people say. I am acting while you talk. I understand that you don't like me, but it does not justify your opinion. Our rates being raised affect everyone, including you. So it doesn't matter whom is making an effort as long as one is done. Or are you in favor of the increases? What have you done for your community? I find it very interesting that every time I bring up a serious issue that is taking money out of our pockets, people like you say I don't know what I'm talking about. Next thing you know everything I warned you about is in the newspapers proving my point. Do you not agree that the council is not doing enough? Do you not agree that staff makes mistakes that need to be addressed? Do you not agree that those who have stolen from us must be prosecuted? What do all these important issues have to do with you not liking me? Hate me all you want, but you can't hide the fact that I'm speaking facts. What bothers you more the truth or me? Your attitude is why our council behaves the way it does. Everyone is worried about who ia taking credit. Why can't we just worry about a community effort? Why don't we focus on business instead of personal feelings towards each other? This city is a business, therefore I treated as such. In business you can't worry about liking people, just simply doing a job. As a resident of this community we are the stock holders. We the residents own a business by the name of City of Lynwood. Every business owner will tell you, that personal feelings mean nothing. Simply the desicion being made. The sad part of everything, is you have made the mistake of judging me with out knowing me. You have based your opinion of me based on what you hear. If you simply base your opinion on what you hear, with out researching the information, how are you so sure your information is accurate. Anytime you like, I'll be more then happy to show you my husband complete application. Those who owe nothing, fear nothing. I urge you to put your feelings of me aside, and help your community by exposing the truth. An informed community can't be fooled!

Aide Castro said...

Lynwood Watch Dog is right? We need to act before it's to late.

Anonymous said...

I see Adolfo Lopez being interviewed. Has he paid the $2,000 in citations he owes the city?

Anonymous said...

Anyone with information on the case was asked to contact the Sgt. Douglas Wagner at (909) 350-7713.

MORENO VALLEY, CA -- A 15-year-old Moreno Valley girl who accepted a ride from a man in Lynwood was raped and stabbed, authorities said.

The attack happened about 3:20 a.m. after the girl got into the suspect's beige GMC Yukon in Lynwood, said Sgt. Douglas Wagner of the Fontana Police Department. The vehicle had tinted windows and chrome rims.

Once the victim was inside the vehicle, the suspect pulled out a knife and raped the girl somewhere between Lynwood and Fontana, Wagner said. When the girl and the suspect arrived at an undisclosed location in Fontana, he slashed and stabbed her with the knife then fled in his vehicle, he said.

The girl suffered cuts to her neck and hands, and was also stabbed in the back.

After the attack, the girl was able to contact authorities, who took her to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton.

The suspect was described as 5 feet 10 inches tall, about 45 years old, weighing about 200 pounds with brown eyes and black hair, Wagner said.

It was unclear what the girl was doing in Lynwood. Anyone with information on the case was asked to contact the Sgt. Douglas Wagner at (909) 350-7713.

Anonymous said...

The suspect's vehicle is described as a beige GMC Yukon, with tinted windows and chrome rims.

Anyone with information in the case is asked to call the Fontana Police Department at (909) 350-7740.

Information can also be reported anonymously by calling WeTip at (800) 78-CRIME.

Anonymous said...

Yes, we are all stakeholders in this community as stated by Mrs. Castro, however, I believe a stakeholder searches for ways to improve/enhance as opposed to criticizing efforts made by staff to make life better for the residents. Check with the AQMD regarding the air quality in Lynwood...and discover it is the worst in the U.S. and it has been for many years. The air is so unhealthy, UCLA and other colleges have studied this community for years to try to find out what is causing such high levels of toxins in the Lynwood atmosphere. If the street sweepers were changed to cleaner burning fuels, it would indeed improve the quality of life in the city. The street sweepers cannot sweep the alleys because the majority of them are dirt and full of weeds. Mrs. Castro obviously wants to help but is misguided and does not have all her facts together. Staff members are human and last I heard, humans do make mistakes from time to time.. The fact that a whole number was used to figure a fee vs. a fraction....well, common sense sometimes is a great tool.

Anonymous said...

I would like to see all "Want to Be" Current a past Candiddates to line up Aug. 15th at the hearing to express their point of view and bring solutions to the Brainless Current Council members.
Candidates such as Jacinto, Morton,
,Lopez, Colin, Aide, Alatorre,
and many others.
Let us hear what you have to say how will you handle and prvent The Laverge life style and spending spree that is going on in Lynwood by Council and their cronies.
Lets use those lists and call Lynwood to show up at the meeting the same way we did "WHEN PEDROZA AND HIS FATHER IN LAW Raul Varela wanted build the VEHICLE STORAGE at Esther St. it only took about 50 residents to stop and make them change their mind I remeber that day very clear althoough not park yet but NO STORAGE eather.

Lets show council Whos the BOSS in the city!! I'll be there..

Lynwood Watch Dog

Anonymous said...

Residents also have to realize that costs go up over time and small increases are needed. I spoke with the water department and told them that a "user based system should be put into effect similar to that of Long Beach. All residents would pay the current rate for the first 15 units of water on a bimonthly basis and then see increases of 20% for the next 15 units. If these residents would go over thirty units on a bimontly basis they would be hit with a flat thirty percent increase for over 30 units that are used. In this manner the more one uses the more they pay. I also didn't like that senior citizens and disabled persons were not shielded from such increases. I would probably give them a flat rate for the first 20 bi monthly units and then just a flat 10 percent increase over 20 units. What an inconsiderate city council in not shielding seniors from such a large increase? I would hold off on increases for future years until revenue estimates have been completed for the fiscal year that is comming up with the proposed increases. In a way the more one uses the more they pay we currently have this system with Edison and Southern California Gas; I think it has the potential to work here as well.

Anonymous said...

I understand that services cost need to up progerssibly, everything goes up nothing is going stay still but, I work for a state agency and in the last 2 years I got 3 1/2 % pay raise this year.(Not yet signed by Arnold)
We are talking about 30% increase not a 3% or a 5% city claims that in 7 years there has not been an increase, that tells you that City/Advisors keep on missing the boat and want to down load it at once, that is not going to happend.
Last time the proposed raise was about 47% Land Scape/53% Light assesment and it failed, I don't undestand why Council memebers don't get it.
Park Water Customers already got their water rate incresed by about 15 % so what is goint to happen to them this time?
Raises need to beprogressibly acoording to the econoy.
Probably I would agreed to some increase but as long as I see lots of waste on part of Council members
I dont' think so!
Mr City manger and company have come up with creative ways to be more eficient but but council should not take advantage of the cituation. They need to tighten their belies too.
When I see council reducing their Yearly travel expense to $3000.00 each, like South Gate does then we can talk about it.

Lets call the community and meet at City Hall!!

Lynwood Watch Dog

Aide Castro said...

I am sorry to inform you that last night your Lynwood City Council voted to increase water fees by 30%. After the first increase it will be followed by another 15%, then 5%, finishing with a final increase of 3%.

The vote was as follows:
Maria Santillan - Yes
Louis Byrd - Yes
Leticia Vasquez - Yes
Alfreddie Johnson - Yes
Fernando Pedroza - No

During public orals I gave all council members a copy of my water bill so that they were able to see in actual dollars how each individual household will be affected. On my bill I gave them an example of how much more I would have to pay. The example I gave was the following:

July bill $84.50 x 30% = $25.35
$25.35 + $84.50 = $109.85 new bill
$109.85 x 15% = $16.48
$16.48 + $109.85 = $126.33
$126.33 x 5% = $6.32
$6.32 + 126.33 = $132.65
$132.65 x 3% = $3.98
$3.98 + $132.65 = $136.63

$84.50 original bill divided by $136.63 final bill after increases gives you a total of 62% increase.

The reasons given by staff and council were that the increases were needed due to reserves being depleted, infrastructure repairs, and to produce revenue for quality of life services, and finally because the bond rating company used, recommended it.

I am not saying an increase is not needed. The metropolitan water district did increase their fees by 3%. However we only purchase 20% of our water from them. That means that 80% of the revenue generated for that percentage can stay in the department. We also need to take in consideration employees. They need a cost of living raise. The water department employees are certified through the state and they need training every so often. I also understand that their medical benefits probably have increased in cost. For that I will justify another 3%. The infrastructure also needs to be invested in, so I'll give them another 3% for that. We must be given an itemized explanation of what each project consist of and how much will it cost. No matter what they claim I'm willing to bet they will not be doing all these repairs immediately or all at once. Last 1% to pad the reserves. The point I am trying to make is that those are the only reasons our revenues can be used for.

Last night the City Manager allowed our Mayor Pro Tem to misinform the audience that these increases were needed for quality of life services and issues. The City Manager clearly knows that the revenues generated from increases on our water can only be used for the water department and nothing else. Yet our council last night voted to approve these increases under the impression that they will be able to allocate some of the revenue in other services. The fact is you can't. The City Manager also advised the council that we may loose our bond rating if these increases aren't done. Wrong, the bond rating company recommended an increase, but they never specified an amount. The key word is recommended. Their is a big difference between you must, and I recommend. As long as we comply with the original guidelines given at the time of application their is no reason to loose our rating. Goes right back to how the City Manager advised the council that we have 10 million in reserves so we don't need to do budget cuts. Yet he failed to mention to the council that although we do have those reserves, they are their to back up our bonds. That was simply a scare tactic in my opinion. The City Manager new that if the council voted against the increase his budget would fall apart. I would Like to know why the City Manager included in his budget the 30% increase? What would he have done if it didn't pass? Why was he so sure? I guess that would explain why he didn't care that the council was not properly informed. His only mission was to get it passed.

Time after time we are asked to pay for prior and new, council and staff mistakes. Mr Byrd made the comment that staff had set up a workshop for the community to voice their concerns and only 11 people showed up. He asked. What happen to the rest of the community? He said he took that as the residents were okay with the increases. Although we all know he's wrong to make this assumption, I really think he was trying to send a message to the community. He's basically saying to us organize and unite to make a difference. The same people that go and talk at every meeting don't make a difference. That tells me simply since the community isn't speaking up, I don't care, I'll just do what I want. Last night our council clearly said we don't care how our community will be affected.

I expected lots more people at council last night. I was disappointed that several people who claim to be leaders and aspire to sit on council were not their. But I was happy to see some new faces in the audience who did go and speak against the increases.

In reviewing the agenda, I also found item number 22 suspicious. It was called Utility Users Tax Matters. Several residents were under the impression council was considering to increase the tax. However in reading the resolution recommended for the item, it states the council is hiring legal representation regarding proposition 218 and other related matters. So I looked up Prop 218. This measure took affect back in 1996 to protect our tax dollars. In other words no taxation with out representation. Proposition 218:
Your right to vote on all local taxes
Proposition 218 gives you the right to vote on all local taxes, and requires taxpayer approval of assessments and property-related fees. Now bureaucrats can't find sneaky ways to raise revenues! Non profit organizations such as Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association go around different cities looking into complaints from residents. Learning all of this, I realized that I don't remember us, the voters ever voting in favor of this Utility Users Tax. All I know is it went from 3% to 6% to 10% were it is now. Back to my point. Is our council in trouble with Jarvis? Why do we need legal representation regarding Prop 218? I want to know what is council trying to hide from us. If I am correct the City of Lynwood would owe their residents lots of money. So as you can see their some sneaky stuff going on. We must keep our eyes open.

This is our city, therefore we must protect our financial interest. I am just one person and I need help from the community. Please write your elected officials and let them know we are not going to put up with the abuse any longer. Speak up people. I beg and implore that we stand up together against the injustice commited.

On a positive note I was very pleased with the new street sweeping contract. The routes were re done and they even included alley clean up. Along with the purchase of two natural powered machines. I also was very happy with the new weed abatment project. Every quarter city employees will be maintaining properties that have not been kept up by their owners. In turn to recoop the money they will be fining and adding liens to the properties to insure repayment. When a lien is on your property anytime you go to refinance or sell, escrow always insures payment of all liens to transfer clean titles. So good job on those two issues.

Although it might seem that I am picking on our City Manager, I would like to clarify that I don't think he's that bad. Like I said in the past he has great ideas. He just needs to be a little more carefull about what he's proposing and how our community is being affected by his recommendations. I feel it is his responsibility to make sure our council is well informed before making any decisions.

Thank You,
Aide Castro

Anonymous said...

The City Council is not very intelligent; while they live a good life, a great majority of the community is barely making ends meet. I would agree to a gradual increase in water rates instead of an immediate 30% increase. In our community we have senior citizens, single parents on fixed incomes that are going to have a very tough time paying the money that the city wants in order to have it saved as a reserve. We are also going to pay the 10% Utility Tax which will increase the city"s revenue. It may be interesting for the community to know that the 10% Utility Tax is illegal and that the City has been charging this tax knowing that is illegal. In essence City Hall has been breaking the law for years and is time for the community to have a taxpayers revolt and fight back. The City Council is making decisions that they are going to regret later.