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Long Beach water rates to increase unless residents submit protest vote

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia

Supporters of Long Beach’s Measure M, including Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, were not transparent with the public and did not share vital information on the tax. Photo: Q Voice News.

LONG BEACH — Guess what Long Beach residents? Water rates are scheduled to increase more than 7 percent in October, which is exactly what city council members and the mayor didn’t reveal when they used scare tactics to mislead the public about Measure M.

PROTEST VOTE

On Thursday, the Long Beach Water Department will have a public hearing about the water rate increase and residents can submit a protest vote.

Residents can voice their disapproval in person at the meeting, which will take place at 7 p.m. at the Long Beach Water Treatment Plant, 2950 Redondo Ave., in the Groundwater Treatment Plant Assembly Room.

Residents also can email their protest vote to Sandy.Fox@lbwater.org. Emails must be received by 7 p.m. Thursday. Residents must include their property address for confirmation that they are a water department customer.

MEASURE M Money Grab

In case you’re wondering, What’s Measure M?

Here’s a quick recap — In May and June, Long Beach City Council members and Mayor Robert Garcia plastered their faces on thousands of pieces of campaign paraphernalia that littered our mailboxes and told residents that Armageddon would fall on Long Beach if residents didn’t approve Measure M, which voters did.

In essence, Measure M would allow the city to raid money from the water department for use in the general fund, AND then make consumers pay for it by raising utility rates, such as water — a practice the city had been doing and was sued by whistleblowers. The city lost the lawsuit and settled.

The city then had the shady ingenious idea to change the city charter and allow them to continue the sneaky money grab.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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