Advocacy is defined as the act of pleading or arguing in favor of something, such as a cause, idea or policy. Advocacy comes in many forms. The FVC is a movement group giving a voice to Vallecitos Water District (VWD) ratepayers through education and advocacy. The FVC was formed to build a coalition of individuals and businesses served by the Vallecitos Water District to become active advocates and spread the important message of the absence and need of ratepayer equity.
Get Educated – Join FVC
GET EDUCATED provides insight on the change of VWD Board’s focus from ratepayers to stimulating the economy and how that has negatively impacted Vallecitos customers. As a member, you will add to a voice that has yet to be heard and receive notifications of relevant action items and public hearings and calls to action that will have the most impact on influencing VWD Board direction back to a ratepayer focus.
Attend Board Meetings
Vallecitos Water District holds public Board meetings at 5 pm the first and third Wednesday of each month. Vallecitos ratepayers are encouraged to provide public comment at these meetings and express concern about breaks given to developers, like the current four-year delay in the much needed capital facility fee (developer fee) increase.
Protest the 2020 Water and Sewer Rate Increase
As part of the rate setting process, public utilities must allow ratepayers the opportunity to protest rates. The utility cannot raise rates if there is a majority protest. A majority protest is not likely since that would require 11,000 (one half of) Vallecitos customers to send a protest letter.
Before the Board turnover, Vallecitos would receive up to a dozen protest letters each rate increase. The last rate increase, they received 50. The goal of FVC is not to prevent a rate increase, but to let the VWD Board know that there are a significant number of voters that are aware of the political favoritism towards developers, and that policy needs to shift back to ratepayer representation, or they will not be voted back into office. We need to send a message with thousands of protest letters to stop giving breaks to developers, use debt to finance developer obligations instead of raiding ratepayer funds, and maintain or lower our rates.
Vallecitos intends to conduct a Cost of Service Study to support the next rate increase, and possible change in the rate structure. They are in the process of evaluating proposals received. Their goal is January 1, 2020, for the next rate increase to take effect, but that may not be enough time for a thorough Cost of Service Study. Vallecitos is required to send each ratepayer notice 45 days in advance of the public rate hearing. That’s the time to send your protest letters. We will keep you posted.
Nominate VWD for Golden Fleece Award
Every May the San Diego County Taxpayers Association (SDCTA) hosts the Annual Grand Golden Watchdog & Fleece Awards (the Goldens), to showcase the best and worst in local public policy. Nominations for both Golden Watchdogs and Golden Fleeces are accepted annually from the public and reviewed by an anonymous SDCTA committee. Nominations for the 2020 Goldens are due next February and the awards get quite a bit of press coverage. Nominations must be accompanied by supportive documentation.
The Ratepayer Equity Coalition will have a file available for uploading and submitting with the Golden Fleece nomination for Vallecitos. Just one nomination will go nowhere. Hundreds of nominations will demand serious consideration and recognition, even if not selected as the winner (or should we say loser). FVC members will be notified by email when nominations begin and the supportive documents are available, and provide links to the nomination forms.
Elect Officials that Represent Ratepayer Interests
If you are interested in running for the Vallecitos Board of Directors, or know someone who would effectively represent ratepayer interests, JOIN FVC and leave a comment regarding your interests or recommendations. If you are already a Member, leave a message in CONTACT US. Keep in mind our VISION to have a Vallecitos Water District Board of Directors who put aside self-interests, govern with dignity and the highest ethical standards, and effectively perform their duties and fulfill their responsibilities. FVC will promote one candidate in each voting Division. Divisions 1, 4, and 5 are up for election next year (see Division Maps to learn what Division you are in). FVC will add content regarding candidates as we near election.