Stop the Claremont Water Grab
The Claremont City Council has taken steps to acquire a private water company’s property and service area by eminent domain, a scheme that will cost local ratepayers millions of dollars!
There is absolutely no way to seize a water company worth millions of dollars without raising water rates or taxes. It is just a question of who pays for it and how much!
A City-sponsored feasibility study may provide answers. So why is your City Council keeping it secret?
Expert Water Economist, City Manager Spar Over Study
6.14.13 – Professional Water Economist Dr. Rodney T. Smith has sent a letter to the City Manager of Claremont demanding that the City retract inaccurate statements regarding the integrity of Dr. Smith’s Claremont Water Economic Analysis. Dr. Smith has concluded that based on a price of $54M, the City would have to raise rates about $500 annually just to pay for the cost of acquiring the system! Click here to read the article. Click here to read Dr. Smith’s economic analysis.
Taxpayer Organization Calls on Claremont to Abandon Taking of Water Company
5.14.13 – The Inland Empire Taxpayers Association writes in today’s Inland Valley Daily Bulletin in opposition to the City of Claremont’s potential acquisition of Golden State Water Company! Asking the same questions that have gone unanswered for over 6 months, the Association shares our concern with the lack of information available to Claremont residents. Click here to read the article.
Is Claremont Serious About Acquiring Golden State?
5.13.13 – Maybe not. Six months ago this week, the City of Claremont offered $54 million to purchase Golden State’s water system. GSWC rejected the offer (no surprise). So… now what? The City has not increased its offer, nor have they begun eminent domain proceedings. So, does the City have a “Plan B?” Probably not. Rumors are the City can’t afford the purchase and the price of a lengthy legal battle.
Water Economist Says Forcible Takeover Too Expensive
5.1.13 – In an Inland Daily Bulletin Op-Ed, Dr. Rodney T. Smith writes that “a takeover would be an enormous burden on city finances and a losing proposition for residents,” because water rates would rise by at least 30% to cover all costs associated with a forcible seizure! Click here to read the op-ed.
Lack of Transparency Harms Claremont
4.5.13 – In a Claremont Courier Op-Ed, CA Alliance Director Cruz Sembello says that the city council and staff should explain to Claremont residents how the city plans to pay for and run Golden State Water Company if is successful with its takeover. Director Sembello also points out that the cost of providing water is rising across the nation, and that “changing the name on the door of the water company won’t change the fact that the cost to maintain and sustain service is increasing.” Click here to read the Op-Ed.
Money Should Be Spent Elsewhere
3.15.13 – In an Op-Ed, a Claremont resident argues that money spent on the proposed buy-out/takeover of Golden State Water Company should be spent on other things, such as education and daycare. Click here to read the Op-Ed.
City Witholding Documents from Public
3.5.13 - The Daily Bulletin reports that the City of Claremont has been withholding documents from the California Alliance to Protect Private Property Rights and the local media. By denying the public access to city documents, paid for by the public, few know how the City can afford to seize a water company by eminent domain and whether they can deliver lower water bills. Click here to read the article.
City Council Takes Comments on Water Grab – No Reports?
2.27.13 - Last night the City Council heard from constituents before entering a closed door session to discuss the “water grab” and returned to report nothing. Does this mean that nothing was discussed behind closed doors? Did they answer constituent questions regarding how will it be paid for and will City ownership result in lower water costs? Sorry folks, nothing to report!
Click here to read the article.
Council to Ask for Public Comment Tomorrow!
2.25.13 – At Tuesday’s City Council hearing, residents are encouraged to offer public comments on the City’s (secret) plan to seize Golden State Water Company by eminent domain. As you know, the City has offered $54 million for the water system, but has refused to release any information as to whether they could operate the system at a lower cost for ratepayers. Maybe folks should attend the meeting and ask for the plan — once again! Click here to read an article about the pre-Council meeting.
What: Claremont City Council Hearing
When: Tuesday, Feb. 26, at 5:15pm
Where: City Hall
Editorial Calls Out Eminent Domain as “Wrong Fix”
2.25.13 – The Orange County Register says regulatory reform, not eminent domain, is the best solution to reducing water rates. Click here to read more.