City of Houston Sewage & Water Rate Hikes Expose
Below is a copy of my email to the Houston City Council Members. Please feel free to make use of their email addresses and make your thoughts known to them as well.
Though you should let all of them know how we feel about this, please be aware that it was not a unanimous vote. Mike Sullivan voted against the increase, and I am awaiting information as to whether there were any other dissenting votes.
Feeling not so cordial,
From: Robin Lennon <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, May 13, 2010 at 11:22 AM
Subject: City of Houston Sewage & Water Rate Hikes Expose’
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City of Houston Councilmembers,
I am livid at the disclosure below regarding how the City of Houston’s Mayor and other elected officials have worked around the will of the people as disclosed in Prop. 1 passed in 2004.
I am the founder of the Kingwood TEA Party and am currently garnering a following to publicize the rate increases as what they are: an ILLEGAL tax that hits the poor at a time when unemployment is high and the economy and likelihood of new employment are low. Considering how upset we voters already are over uncontrolled spending and defined benefit plans especially combined with anti-business regulations, fees, and strong anti-incumbent feelings, I find it difficult to believe that you would be trying to repay your overspending on the backs of the working poor.
If I were you, I would work more on growing the economy by lowering taxes and regulations instead of making WATER–the ELIXIR of LIFE–too expensive for our working poor.
This tax increase is a violation of the provisions of Prop 1 and a slap in the faces and wallets of both the voters of Houston and the working poor.
Incensed in Kingwood,
980B Aqua Vista Drive
Kingwood, TX 77339
Information from Bob Lemer:
The City of Houston’s 2010 massive increases in water and sewer rates violate the rate caps in the Prop 1 city charter amendment placed on the ballot by the then mayor and city council and approved by the voters in November 2004. Prop 1 stated that all water and sewer rates over the combined rates of increase in population and inflation had to receive voter advance approval.
The current mayor and city council have filed a request for declaratory judgment in an Austin court under a visiting judge at 10 AM next Monday, seeking to get around the rate caps in Prop 1, the city charter amendment instigated by our elected officials, not via voter petition, in 2004.
In other words, our city elected officials are trying to defy the will of the people by obtaining a secretive ruling out of town. And in doing so, violate a law that the elected officials, not the public, instigated back in 2004.
The city did put a very brief announcement, in almost unreadable small print, in the Chronicle advising of the hearing.