Thanks to Linda Lancaster for her letter printed in this past weekend’s edition (January 25-26), pointing out the very substantial increases in water use rates and new usage fees being imposed on Santa Monica residents by our City Council. The proposed increases (109% over 5 years) come after water rate increases passed just a few years ago that drove our family and many other city residents to cut back on water use to a point where there is little room left to cut back any further. The new rate hikes undoubtedly will mean increased costs that force us to make sacrifices elsewhere.
We are being told by our city leaders that more cost increases are needed to further discourage water use. But yet these same leaders continue to seek and approve more and more development of commercial and residential buildings in a city that already suffers from gridlock traffic and growing strains on city services, including water supply. Residents are being asked to make sacrifices while our city council makes none with regard to curbing increased water usage caused by new developments.
Increasing rates is the easy way to solve our water supply problem. Any government can cover increased expenditures by simply making its citizens pay over more to their coffers. What we really need are city leaders who will sacrifice along with us by curbing their appetite for development. No further water rate increases should be imposed on us residents until the City Council does its part to curb water demand as well.