Long ago, Claremont decided to allow a private company, Southern California Water Company, to own and manage its water. For quite some time that worked well enough. Although buying the water system was proposed a number of times, the water was reliable and prices increased slowly enough so that the majority of Claremont residents felt the costs of buying the company outweighed the possible benefits of owning it.
I consider myself quite lucky to be born and raised in Claremont. Now, as a parent, I still think it’s a great place to raise a family. But over the past 50-plus years much has changed and, somewhere along the way, the town of Claremont turned into a city.
During the 1960s and 1970s, Claremont went through a decades-long growth spurt that continued beyond my graduation from Claremont High School in 1974.
In a community entrenched in dialogue and process, and defined by a never-ceasing desire to promote good government, Claremont and Claremont’s politics can be complicated.
This was embodied in the recent city council decision to enter into an agreement with Golden State Water. But, after weighing the choices and reflecting on the values of our community, the council made the right decision.
At its core, the trouble with the agreement wasn’t the agreement itself, but rather GSW’s Machiavellian history.
The issue of whether Claremont should establish a municipal water system has been discussed, studied and evaluated for more than 20 years. Today, we former Claremont council members stand in support of the residents calling for the acquisition of the Claremont water system, and ask the community to support the water revenue bond on the November 4 ballot.
Golden State Water Company recently submitted its 2014 General Rate Case (GRC) to determine rates for 2016 to 2018 with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), a filing that is required every three years for regulated utilities.
The good news for Claremont residential customers is that our proposal will lower bills in 2016, maintain lower bills than current totals in 2017, and encourages high-water-use customers to use water wisely during the state’s worst drought in recent history.
So what about this MOU? The 20 “commitments” and a critique can be found at www.claremont flow.org, but the short answer is that many of them Golden State Water already does, other points are already required by law, everything requires that GSW profit margins be maintained, and good water quality isn’t promised if rates are reduced.
The real kicker is at the end where it says the whole agreement can be revoked at any time!
I note in letters to the editor that Claremont Affordable Water Advocates (CAWA) is the target of a lot of vitriolic criticism. As a CAWA member, although I dread the inevitable recriminations, I reluctantly respond as an individual, not as a spokesperson for CAWA or Golden State Water Company (GSW).
I write to rebut assertions made in letters in the July 4 edition of the COURIER. Contrary to comments by John Roseman, CAWA is not a “...thinly disguised Golden State Water public relations shill...
The control of our water is a debate worth having. Urbanization and population growth places increased demand on all government services. Should government take over the system, by eminent domain, or is there a better way to hold the current provider accountable?