One year ago, I wrote a detailed article on SaveNewport and another in the LATimes about how the City Council could increase water supply, take us off the statewide pipeline to make us self-sufficient in water, cut our prices in half, and provide us cleaner water for half the cost of what we are paying now. An additional benefit of doing all of this is that the new company would be providing all infrastructure improvements, relieving the City of Newport from exceptionally costly repairs that have been neglected for decades. The process takes about two years to execute in total, so if they had acted on it at the time, we would have been halfway through and had about a year to go before we received a 700-year supply of cleaner water for half the cost of what we are paying now.
But there was no action. Nothing. Our council did nothing as we took more of the Statewide water supply while we had supply below our feet that was cheaper and cleaner. Our council did nothing as our infrastructure remained neglected as it has been for decades. Our council did nothing until January when they decided that they would be doubling water taxes to pay for our failing infrastructure. That’s right: Instead of lowering water rates and improving our water quality, availability, and infrastructure, they took a vote to raise them while simultaneously ignoring the quality of our water.
Two of our councilpeople are terming out, so I will not focus on Curry and Selich, but I will draw attention to the remaining councilpeople who also voted to double our taxes when the solution should be the opposite direction: Tony Petros and Diane Dixon.
Tony Petros, you may remember, was the councilperson who I highlighted in my article for saying he wanted to use $25,000,000 of taxpayer money to build a community center that nobody wants, while simultaneously saying we don’t have $25,000,000 to fix our failing infrastructure.
In a very rare move after failing the first time, this issue is actually coming up for a “re-vote”. This vote will occur on Tuesday, March 22nd at the 7pm council session.
Anyone who votes for hiking taxes when instead they could be increasing the cleanliness of our water supply? This is a very simple vote, and anyone who thinks we should be increasing the financial burden on people while maintaining a lesser quality of life than we could get for less money has got some very serious questions to answer.