Garrett Harris 8 a.m., Sept. 28
Will Water Rate Increase Be Diverted to Pensions?
The water rate increase that passed city council by 6-2 yesterday (Jan. 24) may be a secret ploy to divert money to cover pension obligations, says Mike Aguirre, former city attorney. The City's most recent fiscal year ended in June of 2010 and the audit has not even been started, he says. "The mayor promised an audit of the water department in 2007, and that is more than 3 years past due," says Aguirre. "Is there a connection between not getting the audits done and the City increasing water rates to pay pension expenses?" he asks. He suspects the water rate hike is being diverted to pension payments. Councilmember Carl DeMaio, one of two members (along with Marti Emerald) to oppose the increase, points out that bill have risen 67% since 2007, far more than the price of water. He says that the City promised in 2007 to install safeguards and efficiencies to protect San Diego from rate increase. These safeguards included performance and special financial audits.
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