California State Senator George Runner (R-Antelope Valley) is mad. Persuaded by the Los Angeles County Sanitation District that his constituents could avoid paying nearly $400 in higher sewer rates if they voted to remove water softeners from their homes, he authored and secured passage of SB 475 in the Legislature which led to Measure S being placed on ballot in Santa Clarita last November. It was approved overwhelmingly.
Runner was just informed that the sewer assessment would be raised from $14.92 to $47 a month -- $385 a year, "more than triple the current rate!" he explained in an angry letter to the Santa Clarita Signal . He pronounced the Sanitation District "guilty," stating:
We’ve all been victims of a bait and switch: A sales tactic in which an item is used to attract customers who, once lured, find themselves receiving something different. It’s never a pleasant experience, but there is something particularly offensive when public officials engage in these dishonest tactics because they are supposed to be working for us.
One wonders if voters would have voted down Measure S had they been told the truth. If voters knew that rates would be increased whether the measure was approved or not, they may have chosen to keep their water softeners.
In fact, a Sanitation District press release stated emphatically, “if all automatic water softeners aren’t removed now, sewer bills may be higher forever.” Does that mean the rate increases of the same proposed levels are somehow going to be temporary now? I don’t think so, and voters got duped.
Payback time may be coming for Sen. Runner. The Assembly is poised to approve an anti-softener bill, AB1366, which should reach the Senate later this month. Fool me once, shame on you, food me twice....