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In Final Ruling, Judge Says City Has to Change the Way It Bills for Water

Judge Gregory Munoz is making the city dismantle the current four-tiered fee structure.

A judge has ruled that San Juan Capistrano can no longer bill water with the four-tiered structure it has since 2010. Patch photo credit:
A judge has ruled that San Juan Capistrano can no longer bill water with the four-tiered structure it has since 2010. Patch photo credit:

The city of San Juan Capistrano has to change the way it bills for water usage, an Orange County Superior Court judge said this week in a final ruling.

Earlier this month, Judge Gregory Munoz ruled the way the city bills its water customers violates the state’s Constitution because its four-tiered rates which climb with increased water use don’t correspond to the actual cost to deliver the water. The city then filed an objection to the ruling to convince Munoz to rethink his conclusions.

He was not persuaded.

The rate structure, put into place in 2010, “is invalid because fees (not penalties) are imposed on each parcel of property that exceed the proportional cost to the services attributable to each parcel,” Munoz wrote Wednesday.

The city also violates the state Constitution by passing along to every rate payer in the city a fee for supplying recycled water even though most property owners don’t have access to the recycled water, Munoz said.

The ruling requires the city immediately stop billing water using the rate structure “as currently imposed” and find a way to charge customers to comply with the state Constitution. 

92675SJC September 09, 2013 at 07:29 PM
I think most people know by now you're just saying whatever you can to criticize any elected official to get you and your friends in office. Just like Nielsen and Uso. We've seen it before. You ran with Reardon and "Carry My Gun in the Park" Reeves and lost. Then you supported McCarthy and Burns. You just want your friends in office. It's all politics. You don't care about what's best for the city. Just another power struggle. You should spend more time with your two children you talked about earlier. They need you more than we do.
Clint Worthington September 09, 2013 at 07:41 PM
92675SJC, I am sorry you are uninformed, but I did not run against Sam Allevato.
92675SJC September 09, 2013 at 07:46 PM
Where does it say you ran against him? Now I see why you're wrong so often.
Clint Worthington September 09, 2013 at 07:47 PM
92675SJC, sorry not politics. The City was found to be illegally collecting money for services that were not delivered such as the recycled water. The City was found to have illegal water rates. A Superior Court judge on a fact finding mission came to that conclusion. I am sorry that you think it is ok for elected officials like Sam Allevato to illegally collect money from residents and businesses to the tune of 8.2 million dollars just for the recycled water. That does not include the illegally collected amount on the tiered rates. Again, I am sorry that you think committing illegal acts is ok.
Clint Worthington September 09, 2013 at 07:49 PM
92675SJC, if you think I am saying whatever I can to criticize an elected official, please show me where I am wrong.
92675SJC September 09, 2013 at 07:50 PM
You ran with two other people and you came in third among your running mates. And if I remember, the two people you ran ahead of didn't even run campaigns. Now I see why you're angry at the city, too: http://www.voiceofoc.org/blogs/behind_the_orange_curtain/article_62fa7610-e6f4-11df-ab35-001cc4c03286.html
Clint Worthington September 09, 2013 at 07:50 PM
92675 SJC, you stated you were happy Sam Allevato was elected instead of myself. I did not run against Sam Allevato.
Clint Worthington September 09, 2013 at 07:54 PM
92675SJC, you are right, I spent $2,900- of my own money. Taylor and Kramer spent over $50,000.00 each. I am glad you finally were able to get the election correct. What this has to do with water, I am not sure.
92675SJC September 09, 2013 at 07:59 PM
You ran for office, you can't keep out of the headlines -- a video of a street corner for crying out loud? ?? Face it, you're a politician. Just another politician. And if people supported you, you'd been able to raise more than $2,900. Liberals always complain about campaign spending, but let's face it, that's just people voting with their wallets. You got outvoted there, too.
92675SJC September 09, 2013 at 08:05 PM
Mr. Marquez, I'm not sure you speak on behalf of the Hispanic Community in San Juan Capistrano. Many are no fans of Mr. Worthington or his friends at Capistrano Common Sense. The editor there called the Mission "evil" for its support of the Latino Community in San Juan Capistrano and repeatedly attacks hard-working members of our community. They tried to brand our city as a "Sanctuary City" and urged Immigration Sweeps. These are not people the Latino Community should trust, much less turn their backs on.
Clint Worthington September 09, 2013 at 08:07 PM
92674SJC, Alipaz and Del Avion is a dangerous corner as the video shows. I am sorry that you feel that the children going to and leaving from the three schools should be subject to a blind corner on City property that is overgrown. A young boy might not have lost his leg had the City erected the stop sign and trimmed the bushes as the residents had continually asked the city to do. That lawsuit right there was over 8 million dollars the city lost. Again, I am sorry that you feel that it is ok for small children to get hurt. I don't. What this has to do with water, I am not sure Jonathan.
92675SJC September 09, 2013 at 08:12 PM
Clint, no child has ever been hit at Alipaz and Camino del Avion. By your own reasoning -- that MET has not failed to supply water in the pat -- no child will be hit there in the future. You want it both ways.
92675SJC September 09, 2013 at 08:15 PM
And keep guessing, like I keep saying, you're not as smart as you think you ...
Clint Worthington September 09, 2013 at 08:29 PM
92674SJC, would you want your child to be the first to be hit ? Or, is it prudent to take preventive measures? The City thought so when a vehicle ran the stop sign at Del Avion into the chain link fence. Since then, the City has installed several K rails to protect the Kinoshita water well. In addition, a new stop sign has been erected in the street on Del Avion. I am sorry you missed all of that.
Whiskey Bent September 09, 2013 at 08:30 PM
92675sjc, another white liberal telling minorities what to think and how to feel.
92675SJC September 09, 2013 at 08:33 PM
Mr. Marquez, I understand. Here are some links I understand. Here are some links: http://www.ccsense.com/2010/03/impact-of-mass-illegal-immigration-on.html Mr. Worthington is a member of the editorial board of Common Sense.
92675SJC September 09, 2013 at 08:33 PM
http://www.ccsense.com/2010/07/rule-of-law-in-san-juan-capistrano.html
92675SJC September 09, 2013 at 08:33 PM
http://www.thecapistranodispatch.com/anti-illegal-immigration-policy-proposal-in-capistrano-pulled-after-plagiarism-allegations
Whiskey Bent September 09, 2013 at 08:34 PM
So 92675sjc, you will vote for fellow "I know best" white liberals Volzke and Behmerwald?
Clint Worthington September 09, 2013 at 09:08 PM
92675SJC, what does any of this have to do with water ? I am sorry you support Sam Allevato, but he voted time after time to rip off the residents of our town for millions and millions of dollars in illegal bills. To go to court to fight to not give us our hard earned money back is unconscionable.
Whiskey Bent September 09, 2013 at 09:55 PM
Darn it Marquez, fall in line and do what you're told by the white liberal elite. Don't think for yourself. Do what the real racist want you to be: Under their control by the government. 92675SJC you preach the same liberal tactics as council candidates Jonathon Volzke and Steve Beamerwald.
shelly September 10, 2013 at 12:44 AM
Clint Worthington I don't know Clint but I do believe that cities should have more than a 7 day plan for emergency water. Is it your opinion that if other cities do not have more than 7 days of emergency water than we should not? Really? Just yes or no. Should a city have more than 7 days of emergency water for the city?
Clint Worthington September 10, 2013 at 04:10 AM
Shelly, I Don't have enough information to base an opinion on. How many other cities the size of San Juan have more than a seven day supply of water? What cities are they? How do they store their water? Is it in a sealed or open reservoir? If an open reservoir does it require the water to be re- treated again for health purposes before being pumped to residential neighborhoods ? Can the water be pumped into the water table for storage, only to be pumped out later and not be required to be re-treated again. Do other municipalities pump recycled water back into the water table for for use at a later time and include that recycled water as water storage. How much does it cost these municipalities to store this water? I need more information Shelly before I can make a decision. I don't have that information right now to make that decision.
Clint Worthington September 10, 2013 at 10:48 AM
We should all be very angry that Sam Allevato continues to seek legal action to not return to us our hard earned 8.2 million dollars that is owed to us. The court ruled he voted to illegally collect it. Shame on Allevato.
shelly September 10, 2013 at 10:52 AM
Clint Worthington, If there is a natural disaster and water supplies from MWD are cut off do you think our city or any city should have more than 7 days of emergency water? Or do you believe after 7 days people should just be on their own? Just yes or no? I believe we should. I also believe it is forward thinking to reclaim ground water. You can disagree or agree. Or you can choose to not voice your opinion which is what you are doing now. Should a city have more than 7 days of emergency water?
Clint Worthington September 10, 2013 at 11:16 AM
Shelly, can you name any natural or man made disaster that has occurred in the past 100 years that has cut off the supply of water from the MWD for seven days to our City ? Yes or no? It is a simple question. I would not limit it to natural disasters, expand it to: nuclear (the last one permanently shut down a nuclear plant down the road), tsunami, rain, heat, drought, flood, snow (yes it snowed here in San Juan in the 40's), haz mat spills, airplane crash (the last airline crash ended up closing Capistrano Airport when a little girl was killed), train problem (the boiler explosion from the steam locomotive in the 20's was technically at Serra, a part of Capistrano Beach), fire (the largest fire in Orange County history, the Stewart Fire in 1959 at 66,000 acres came to what is now the City limits), World War 1 and World War II, and earthquakes. With all of those natural and man made disasters, some worse, and some potentially much worse, through all of that, MWD has still delivered water to our City for over 100 years. Without fail. The GWRP cannot go 60 days without breaking down and only met one of its production goals in almost 10 years despite pouring million and millions of dollars into it andSam Allevato who has been a City Council Member each of those years promised the GWRP would work and even produce more water than ever before. Don't forget the $324,000 a year "water guru" Joe Tait as Laura Freese and Sam Allevato called him, could fix the GWRP.
shelly September 11, 2013 at 12:33 AM
Clint Worthington, It is a yes or no question. Should a city have more than 7 days of emergency water? I don't understand why you can't answer yes or no? There are many disasters all over the country and world that nothing failed and then it did. Have you read anything on the precariousness of water in our region? You seriously believe that everything is super reliable with the water in Southern California which is really a desert that has been transformed by transported water. Is this really all about a political rivalry? I totally get that there is some deep political animosity between you and Sam Allevato but it should not prevent you from having an opinion.
Clint Worthington September 11, 2013 at 05:29 AM
Shelly, please see previous comment posted right above it at 11:16.
shelly September 11, 2013 at 09:50 AM
Clint Worthington, No, I can't name a disaster in our city. But I can name some in other cities where there were no problems for 100 years and then disaster struck. That is what emergency means. Things happen all the time. If you do not want to share your opinion of a yes or no answer for political reasons then don't. Dance around it. I believe that cities should have more than 7 days of emergency water. You seem to believe we do not need it. Okay.
Donna Fleming September 12, 2013 at 02:04 PM
Emergency Preparedness Procedures are the responsibility of the city. Every city has their own plan. If you want to know the specifics of what is planned, for emergency water, power, evacuation, you need to communicate with Contact Michael Cantor, Safety & Emergency Services Manager at 949.234.4565 or mcantor@sanjuancapistrano.org

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