Won this (Water) Battle, Yet Still forging on the War Front

Below is the form email that went out from SOS Water, the organization that is spearheading the drive to allow City of Rialto Voters to vote on the decision to outsource our water and waste water systems. I hope this push proves a few things to the city council and mayor of Rialto:

  • Simple transperity isn’t enough when it comes to our water and a 30 year contract – Besides people who either work for the city, sit on a city commission/board or belong to a group or organization that is owned by the city government no one things that the information meetings were informative, they were more confusing. No other proposals were shown, staff presenting the information came off cocky and rude & people were left with more questions than answers.
  • When the people (Rialto Residents) speak listen – 80+ people signed up to speak on the impending vote on water services & the city council choose to instead listen to Union reps, possible future business owners, labor lobbies & inappropriate city mouth pieces (Ref June Hayes calling one of the speakers a card carving communist). When Rialto business owners and residents filled 4 rooms and spoke their piece and you still chose to ignore it, you work for us remember that.
  • For years this city government has made a choice to ignore the water system, now when RDA funds are gone we make a made dash for the first person willing to pay us off. How is this fair to the city? Why should the residents pay for your lack of leadership. It was best said today as Governor Brown was making his latest pitch for higher taxes he ask a reporter if she didn’t like his plan what did she think he should do and she said “THATS YOUR JOB”. IF the city water is in such disrepair then let’s get to work fixing it. Start off by using the 30 million dollars the Utility owes you and let’s get to work. Then lets talk about slow graduated increases that will hurt less over time to obtain the remainder of the money and finish the work. By the councils own admission this alone will bring business here that was avoiding us because of our water systems age and disrepair. I don’t agree that is why they are avoiding us but that’s for another post.
  • SOS is comprised from people out-of-state that have seen American Water at work and know first hand what type of service they provide. This doesnt bother me one bit because without the hard work and passion of the people of Rialto their efforts would have died out eons ago.

Dear friends and neighbors:

On Saturday, May 12, we filed our petition with the City Clerk with substantially more than enough signatures to place the water privatization scheme before the voters of Rialto.  Under California law, this means that the City will be required to present this critical issue to a vote of the people.

We needed 10% of the registered voters of Rialto to qualify for the ballot – or just over 3,600 signatures.  Instead, we turned in more than 6,400 signatures!

The people of Rialto really came through to let City Council know that the voters of Rialto deserve to have the final say on this misguided 30-year privatization scheme.

The next step is that the City will review our petition to verify that we have submitted a sufficient number of valid signatures.  After that, this issue should be presented to a public ballot sometime over the next few months.  We will need to re-double our efforts to make certain this water privatization contract is defeated at the ballot box.

In addition, in the next few days we will be sending Prop 218 protest cards to all Rialto property owner who are affected by the huge rate hikes that the City Council is trying to push through to finance this deal.  If a majority of property owners protest these rate hikes, then the City cannot impose the rate increases and the entire water privatization scheme fails.

We will keep you posted on both of these efforts as we move forward.

Congratulations again for all of your hard work and for standing up for the future of Rialto.

Mark Brooks

SOS Rialto Water

P.S.  I am posting below a link to the news story in the Sunday’s San Bernardino Sun concerning our success in getting the petition filed, and another link to a guest editorial from SOS Rialto Water members that was printed in the Sun on May 9.

http://www.sbsun.com/ci_20612243/more-than-6-000-rialto-residents-sign-petition

http://www.sbsun.com/pointofview/ci_20585383/rialto-voters-deserve-say-american-water-deal

 

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