In a return interview with the John & Ken Show (KFI AM 640 in Los Angeles), "Water Wars" Attorney Ben Benumof summarizes another big Proposition 218 victory for his client, The Glendale Coalition for Better Government (http://www.glendalecacoalition.org), and all California water ratepayers in general. A link to the full interview with Ken & Jon is below:
The name of the case is Glendale Coalition for Better Government, Inc. v. City of Glendale (Case No. BS153253, Los Angeles Superior Court, Department 85, Judge Chalfant presiding). After two years of litigation culminating in a two-day trial, the Court found and declared pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 1060 that the City's water rate structure, adopted on August 5, 2014, and currently in effect, violates California Constitution, Article XIIID, section 6(b) and is invalid in the following respects:
1) As applied to single family residential (“SFR”) customers, the base costs are not properly allocated to tiers, and thus the SFR rates violate section 6(b)(3);
2) The City improperly collapses its own water rates (i.e. the City of Glendale and Public Authority accounts) into the commercial category and thus, receives a subsidy which violates section 6(b)(3); and
3) The City includes in the fixed monthly charge for its water rates, fire protection costs, which violates section 6(b)(5).
Accordingly, the Court ordered that a writ of mandate shall issue that directs the City to abandon and/or invalidate the City's current water rate structure as it pertains to (a) SFR base rates, (b) the collapse of the City of Glendale and Public Authority accounts into the commercial category, and (c) the inclusion of fire protection costs in the rates. Pursuant to the Court's order, moving forward, the City is restrained and enjoined from imposing, billing, or collecting water charges, fees and rates that have been declared to be illegal via the litigation.
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