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Tiered Rates: Déjà vu All over Again

The recent (April 2008) fiasco involving tiered-rates was not the first time the Borrego Water District managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory with respect to conservation pricing of water. It is getting to be a habit.

On 25 January 2006 the BWD Board considered “Proposed Tiered Rate Schedules.” A sub-committee including a number of citizen volunteers had spent months working on the proposal. The General Manager and staff of the District, in particular, had done yeoman’s work on it. Despite these good efforts and unanimous support from a number of audience members who spoke to the proposal, the issue never came to a vote because three members of the board belatedly and without explanation declared themselves to be opposed to the whole concept of tiered-rates.

The question of whether the board would accept the concept should have been settled before forming a sub-committee to devise a specific proposal. If a majority of the Board was opposed to this device in principle, as they clearly were, they should have made their opposition known at the outset and saved sub-committee members a great deal of time, the district a great deal of money, and everybody a great deal of frustration. That they did not is extremely unfortunate, bodes ill for our community, and reflects badly on the Board members who reneged at the last minute. Shame on them.

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