default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

Letter: Water rate notice didn’t provide sufficient details

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Saturday, November 23, 2013 12:00 am

A recent column by Wally Sandelin, director of Lodi’s Public Works Department, took issue with my column of Nov. 12 and a letter by John Slaughterback. Mr. Sandelin defended the proposed rate increases, arguing that this vote is not a rate increase; that the city has been transparent in bringing this issue forward; and that the proposed increases are appropriate for various reasons.

Mr. Sandelin does not address my argument that the notice did not provide sufficient information for voters to make a reasoned decision about the increases. He seems to think that because there were public hearings that disclosed information regarding the rate increases, this somehow substitutes for a generic and, in my view, deficient public notification.

Yet he demonstrated that such information could reasonably have been provided. This is shown by the manner in which he defended the rate increases in his column: First, he notes the vote is simply authorization for the council to enact rate increases in the future if it deems these necessary. Second, he notes that the rate increases may be necessary for adjustment to inflation of expenses. Third, he enumerates the capital improvements and maintenance for which the funds would be used: replacement; water meter installation and retrofit; general maintenance; and, inferentially, investments in a storage pond and conveyance improvements. Finally, he notes that the upgrade to certain projects was state-mandated.

My column was not about the merits of the proposed increases. It was about the need for transparency and the duty of the government to provide citizens with sufficient information in a usable manner so that they could make informed votes on the issues.

In reality, this is a minor faux pas by the city. But the lack of transparency is an endemic problem in the United States. At all levels, too many government employees do not have the attitude that it is their duty to keep us informed and to make information available to the citizenry. While the NSA is the poster child for this, it occurs locally as well. This is our nation and our government, and we are entitled to the information in reasonable manners and with reasonable access.

David Wellenbrock


Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don't pretend you're someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don't insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.

Welcome to the discussion.


  • Ed Walters posted at 1:54 pm on Tue, Nov 26, 2013.

    the old dog Posts: 353

    Though your letter had good cause, it was not justified on a local level. The state mandated that all houses have a water meter in the distint future. The placing of water meters had nothing to do at the local level. For the most part a water meter box was installed when the house was constructed, therefore allowing a company that was certified by the city to install the meter in the first place, providing the box and valve were installed. If not more work was involved. Roy, you might explain "smoke and mirrors", if the public is not satisfied with the city government, your vote can make them suddenly unemployed. That goes on all levels of government, if the voting public knew then what they know now, Barry would be looking for a day job, as he will in 2016, hopfully it will get better.

  • roy bitz posted at 6:56 am on Sat, Nov 23, 2013.

    roy bitz Posts: 489

    Excellent letter sir.
    The smoke and mirrors approach we get from politicians at every level of government has become the norm. It's how they roll.


Recent Comments

Posted 9 hours ago by Joe Baxter.

article: Letter: Pastor Frank Nolton forgets abo…

Fighting for "civil rights". Who defines civil rights? It is clear the LGBT isn't stopping at "civil rights", they are …


Posted 11 hours ago by Brian Dockter.

article: Letter: Obamacare is not the program pr…

And of course it's not a matter of plagiarizing. It's what's plagiarized. Right, Ms. Bobbin?


Posted 11 hours ago by Brian Dockter.

article: Letter: Obamacare is not the program pr…

Chuckle, Had the letter been plagiarism and thus citing the positive attributes of Obamacare, we wouldn't have heard a peep of criticism f…


Posted 19 hours ago by Christina Welch.

article: Letter: Pastor Frank Nolton forgets abo…

Well said, Mr Heuer. Your line about is it a woman or a man made me think of the song "Turn the Page." That'd be the perfect t…


Posted 19 hours ago by Christina Welch.

article: San Joaquin County supervisors approve …

You are a good man, Walter.... Quack on, baby!! [beam]



Popular Stories


Should graduations return to the Grape Bowl?

Lodi Unified leaders are moving Lodi and Tokay high school graduations from the Grape Bowl to the Spanos Center at UOP in Stockton. They cite limited seating, costs and unpredictable weather at the Grape Bowl. But others say graduations at the Grape Bowl are an important Lodi tradition, and one reason many supported renovating the stadium. What do you think?

Total Votes: 98


Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists