ROC's 95-1 Ordinance handicaps Rainbow
Last updated 9/24/2009 at Noon
Rainbow Municipal Water District is illogically impacted by ROC’s Ordinance 95-1 “two-thirds vote required for public debt,” compared to neighboring North County water districts.
Twenty-one years ago, a few Ramona and Valley Center Municipal ratepayers collected 10 percent of registered voters’ signatures, putting propositions on ballots for public vote. A peculiar $1M was the authorized debt limit per project, but $1.5M per year was sensibly allowed for the acquisition and installation of water tanks and reservoirs for storage!
This included all associated pipelines, site improvements, engineering studies for cost/benefit, environmental studies, purchases of real property and funds for elections!
Additionally, the two base figures were annually adjusted based on the percentage increase (or decrease) of the Consumer Price Index. The 1988 $1M became $2M and the $1.5M is now adjusted to $3M for inflation.
Valley Center wisely exempts “maintenance or replacement projects for existing facilities…at date of…ordinance.” Why did ROT promote a truncated three-page ordinance in ’94-‘95 when known others were 7-11 pages?
Rainbow could have sensibly covered/treated their reservoirs with near-zero interest government stimulus funds, saving ratepayers tens of millions of dollars!
Rainbow’s 95-1 is the only ordinance requiring a “mission impossible” two-thirds vote restricted to the every-other-year primary or general elections for public debt in excess of the inane 1995 $1M – worth $0.5M today!
How can Rainbow operate with a deflating $1M debt into perpetuity, unlike our neighboring water districts, which have provisions for existing health and safety water storage updates in their ordinances?
Sheila M. Walson
Ratepayers for Fiscal Responsibility