Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Equal Protection and Due Process Vindicated in St. Augustine (Again) --- Unanimous Vote for Water Rate Study, First in City's History

Last night, St. Augustine City Commission unanimously voted $35,000 for a water rate study.
There's never been one in the history of our Nation's Oldest City.
Our current water rates are double what they should be for small users, and less than they should be for large users.
Our current water rates are unconstitutional, violating Equal Protection and Due Process.
The poor pay more that they should.
Average households pay more than we should.
You pay the same each month whether you use one gallon or 3000 gallons.
Worse, low income and African-American residents of West Augustine west of the railroad tracks and elsewhere outside city limits pay 25 percent extra, and have done so for fifty years.
The amount of this consumer ripoff is $700,000 per year, from people who can least afford it.
It is a civil rights violation, one that occurs every time a utility bill is sent out to residents outside city limits.
This scandalous overcharge is one of the vestiges of Jim Crow law in the City of St. Augustine, and we're going to abolish it.
Meanwhile, very large water users are not paying their fair share, including Flagler Hospital, Flagler College, Norrhrop Grumman, hotels, motels, restaurants and laundries.
There is no incentive for conservation.
There are no inclining block rates.
Again, there has never been a water rate study before.
Our water rates are twice what they should be, according to studies by the St. Johns Water Management District.
Once again, the Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection and Due Process clauses live in our Nation's Oldest City.
Yes we can!
Thanks and praise are due to our City Manager John Patrick Regan, P.E., Public Works Director Martha Graham, Comptroller Mark Litzinger, Assistant City Manager Timothy Burchfield, Mayor Joseph L. Boles, Jr., Vice Mayor Nancy Sikes-Kline, Commissioners Leeana Freeman, Roxanne Horvath and Donald Chrichlow for doing the right thing.
The vote was unanimous.
Three cheers

No comments: