City of Fresno Filing Action Seeking Ruling On Legality of Water-Rate Initiative
–The Fresno City Council Thursday approved filing a declaratory relief action seeking a court ruling on the legality of a proposed initiative to put the water rates approved in August on a ballot next year.
Mayor Swearengin commended the City Council for putting the need for a clean, reliable water supply for City residents ahead of political expedience.
“Proponents of the measure have shown a reckless disregard for the truth about the City’s water supply,” Mayor Swearengin said. “There is no magic water supply beneath the City; instead, we have a cone of depression 70 years in the making. Unhealthy growth patterns, many years of drought and the refusal of past Administrations and Councils to make tough decisions have left us no choice but to build the infrastructure necessary to make sure our water future is certain.”
Public Utilities Director Patrick Wiemiller added, “We are in a critical race of time to construct the projects in our capital program to ensure we can continue to serve our existing customers safe, clean, and reliable drinking water.”
The Fresno City Attorney emphasized the action seeks no monetary relief from the named individuals, but rather the law requires the proponents of the initiative to be named, and the action seeks merely the court's ruling on the lawfulness of the initiative, given the City's obligation to provide a safe, clean, and adequate water supply.
The action will be filed Friday by Michael Colantuono, an attorney with a great deal of experience handling Proposition 218 fee and initiative issues.
# # #