Don't submit to sewer fee increase

In the last couple of days, property owners in the Barstow area have received letters from the city of Barstow notifying the owners of a public meeting to discuss the proposed rate increase (tax) doubling our sewer users fee (tax).

The meeting will be Tuesday, Feb. 22, in the City Council chambers. I am in high hopes that many people (particularly people in the Lenwood/Grandview area) will show up to voice their opposition to this new tax for the following reasons:

1) In 2004 the county, under disgraced 1st District Supervisor Bill Postmus with current 1st District Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt as chief of staff engineered a written agreement with property owners that we would be taxed for new sewer connections with stipulations that: a) our properties would be put back into the same condition that they were found, this was not done; and b) our septic tanks and seepage pits would be filled with sand (abandoned). This was not done and now presents a life-or-death situation should someone drive their car over one of the pits or even a collapse from rain or other movement could cause someone to fall into the 30 foot deep pits. Calls to Postmus and Mitzelfelt were/are not returned. Barstow gets ignored by the county once again. I can't wait to see the lawsuit when somebody gets injured or killed. c) Aside from increased property taxes to pay for the sewer, we would be charged $13 per month for sewer user fees. I have my copies of the agreement. Nowhere does it state that six years down the road our costs will increase. Basically, the city wants to change the rules of our agreement. The city already violates the agreement by charging us $1 more per month than they do city residents. The amount is not the issue, the violation of the agreement is.

2) With unemployment at an all time high, particularly in Barstow/Lenwood, who of you can afford more fees (taxes)?

3) Now that the EPA (Enjoyment Prevention Agency) has gotten involved with our perchlorate water "crisis," our water bills will skyrocket. Anytime the government gets involved "helping" us, we pay the inflated price. As the Desert Dispatch correctly wrote in the Nov. 22nd edition, the perchlorate level was not enough to make even the most sensitive ill. However, here comes the California (no other states have such ridiculous standards) EPA to "help" us with our "crisis". Hold on to your wallet.

Between signed agreements, high unemployment, new state standards, not to mention Governor Brown's new tax filled budget, now is not the time for the city of Barstow to levy new taxes on us. Please show up and voice your opposition.

Nick Benson Sr., Barstow