Hold onto your hats, folks. It's time for the Final World Class Bait & Switchy to commence, tomorrow, Tuesday, Oct 26, at the Board of Supervisors starting at 9 a.m.
Yes, it's the old "Rates and Charges" "ballot," which will be mailed to property owners once the BOS votes, which they will. The "ballot" is one of those wierd "reverse" ballots -- if you object to it, you return it; if you don't or if you don't know or care or think it's junque mail and toss it, that'll count as a "yes." And you need 50% plus 1 to put the kabosh on the whole thing, an IMPOSSIBLE task.
What makes this soooooo wonderful is that if you went around ringing doorbells and asked 1,000 people here in Sewerville, "When you passed the Prop 218 ballot agreeing to assess yourself $25,000 for the sewer for your property, did you know that the county was planning to add on to your bill the cost for undeveloped properties, in case the undevelpoed property owners balked at paying for a "service/benefit" when they're sitting on an empty lot and getting no service or benefit?"
I bet you wouldn't find one person who would say, "Oh, yeah, I knew all about that. I'm happy to pay the cost for undeveloped lots. And if those lots never get developed, (and so repay the charges owed when they do develop) because there isn't any water, well, that's O.K. with me."
My bet is that people would say, "Huh? What do you mean I've got to pay MORE than the assessed $25,000? Huh?"
And here's my other bet. That the Rates and Charges Bait & Switchy "ballot" will easily pass because 1) 1/3 of the community won't bother responding. Like the preference survey the county sent out for the sewer, 1/3 of those surveys simply disappeared into the Black Hole of Sewerville, and 2) a whole lot of people will get this Rates & Charges " ballot" and they'll think, "Hey, look, the sewer's only going to cost about $80 a month. That's GREAT!" not realzing that that's merely the "add on" to the original $25,000, an add-on about which they are clueless. But it won't matter, because of that 50% plus 1. Done deal.
Plus, there's always the added threat from the County (watch for it in the Tribune, in the letters to the editor, in the carefully worded "information" packet from the county). It'll translate as: "Pass this "ballot" and pay for those vacant lots, or we'll drop the project altogether and walk away. Bwa-hahahah"
Yes, Hobson's Choice. It's great!
So, that's my bet.
On the bright side, the Rates and Charges discussed at the last BOS, did set a fixed cost, then tied the balance to individual water use, thereby adding a carrot and stick to the whole deal that might encourage more thrifty water use. Which is the really important issue here. Water. Out of which, we are running.