Cambrian: Opinion

Cambrian letters to the editor, Dec. 17, 2015

No ‘free lunch’ for Cambria water use

I do not agree and take issue with your recent article related to the CCSD water rate increase in which you stated that the inclusion of the first four units of usage should be included in the base rate for all consumers. As stated, your rationale for retaining this inclusion would be to “incentivize” consumers to save water.

As a nonbeliever in a “free lunch,” I believe the best approach is to set the base rate to a value that is designed to cover all of the expenses CCSD incurs independent of its users’ water consumption. To include so called “freebie” units in the base rate is a nonstarter for the following reasons:

1. Why should a customer who consumes zero units of water (no gallons) have to pay the same amount as one who consumes four units (3,000 gallons)? Many part-time residents reside in this category for substantial portions of each year.

2. Likewise, a pricing methodology wherein you pay for exactly whatever water you happen to use during a billing period (e.g. 1, 2, 3, 4 or more units on a progressively increasing rate scale) would seem to be the fairest (most equitable) way to go.

Floyd Winquist, Cambria

‘Irresponsible’ call for protest

Cambrians for Fiscal Responsibility (CFR), a misnomer for sure, has placed an advertisement in the Dec. 10 edition of The Cambrian urging ratepayers to protest water and sewer rate increases proposed by the CCSD. CFR’s ad is replete with vague innuendo but short on facts.

Had CFR attended the public meetings held to discuss rates, it would have learned that CCSD’s proposal relies on an exhaustive study and detailed recommendation by Bartles Wells Associates (BWA), a pre-eminent public finance adviser specializing in California utility rate studies.

The BWA report (a summary of which is on the CCSD website) concludes that for the last 20 years CCSD’s operating costs have risen without corresponding rate increases and several necessary capital improvement and maintenance projects have been deferred for lack of funding. This condition is unsustainable. Had they just read the BWA report, CFR would have also learned that the CCSD proposal will simplify the district’s rate structure, fairly allocate water and sewer charges among customers, provide necessary revenue and stabilize CCSD’s financial condition.

If you are a Cambrian who truly favors fiscal responsibility, then you should reject CFR’s irresponsible call for protest.

Mark Rochefort, Cambria

Trump candidacy an insult to anyone

Donald Trump is a dangerous fool who I am hoping will not become our next president. He sounds like a fascist, much like Hitler once did or any other unbalanced person. It is sad that so many Republicans seem like and want him.

I grew up with what we once called Mexican-Americans, and I found them to be kind and caring people who loved their families deeply. There were some gangs, but they were only a tiny fraction of the people. Trump’s stupid remarks are hateful and unwise.

He indeed has a lot of money, but does that quality him to be our president? I don’t think so. He never completes what he says and passes over rational questions of makes excuses for his financial failures such as his loss of various companies. He is an insult to anyone, let alone to us as Americans.

Clive Finchamp, Cambria