Petaluma "Reduce Wastewater and Water Rates Initiative", Measure K (November 2008)

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A City of Petaluma Water and Sewer Rates Initiative, Measure K ballot question was on the November 4, 2008 ballot for voters in the City of Petaluma in Sonoma County, California, where it was defeated.

If Measure K had been approved, it would have repealed a five-year package of rate increases adopted by the Petaluma City Council in 2007.

The water and sewer rate package in force in the city since 2007, that would have been rolled back if Measure K had been approved, called for:

  • Water rates to rise 8 percent in 2009
  • Sewer rates to go up 13 percent.
  • In total, monthly water rates for the average Petaluma household were scheduled to rise from $33 in 2007 to $42 in 2011.
  • Average monthly sewer rates went from $44 to $80 in that time.

After the defeat of Measure K, its supporters qualified Measure U for the November 2, 2010 ballot. Measure U, which was defeated, also would have rolled-back the sewer and water rates in the City of Petaluma.

Election results

Measure K
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No14,35154.6%
Yes 11,954 45.4%
These final, certified, election results are from the Sonoma County elections office.

Supporters

See also: Petaluma Sewer Rate Rollback Initiative (2010)

Petalumans for Fair Utility Rates, the group that sponsored Measure K, was led by former Petaluma councilman Bryant Moynihan and retired pilot James Fitzgerald.

After the defeat of Measure K, in January 2009, they notified the city clerk’s office that they intended to collect signatures in support of a ballot measure similar to Measure K but which would focus exclusively on the city's sewer rates.[1]

Opponents

Opponents of the rollback believed that if it had passed, the city of Petaluma would have had difficulty paying for a waste treatment plan that was under construction at the time of the November 2008 vote.

Ballot text

Ballot question

The question on the ballot:

Measure K: "Shall an ordinance be adopted to reduce City of Petaluma wastewater and water service rates to rates in effect on January 1, 2006 and provide for specified annual adjustments thereto?"[2]

Full text

The full text of Measure K was:

The People of the City of Petaluma do ordain as follows:
SECTION I: The rate schedule for wastewater service set forth in Resolution No. 2007-023 N.C.S. of the Petaluma City Council shall be reduced to the rates established by Resolution No. 2002-189 N.C.S., which were the rates in effect on January 1, 2006.
SECTION II: The rate schedule for water service set forth in Resolution No. 2007-022 N.C.S. of the Petaluma City Council shall be reduced to the rates established by Resolution No. 2002-191 N.C.S., which were the rates in effect on January 1, 2006.
SECTION III: This measure may not be amended except upon voter approval; provided, however, that water and wastewater rates may be increased annually, starting with the next fiscal year following passage of this initiative, not to exceed the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose (1967 = 100) for the preceding published 12-month period.
SECTION IV: If any provision of this measure or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications, and to this end the provisions of this measure are severable.

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References

  1. Petaluma 360, "Measure K supporters may try again Group begins new effort to roll back sewer rates; may gather signatures for future ballot measure," January 8, 2009
  2. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.