The following is a copy of a letter sent to Kevin Tonoian, special districts manager for the city of Santa Clarita:
I received a letter dated Nov. 29 from the city of Santa Clarita stating that the city will be sending out a ballot to vote on increasing the streetlight maintenance assessment from $12.38 per household to $81.71, ostensibly because Southern California Edison’s charges to the city have increased steadily.
This represents a 560 percent increase!
In your letter, you provide neither a historical accounting nor a budget showing how the streetlight maintenance funds are spent. Over the last several years we have not experienced a significant amount of inflation in energy costs, so one has to wonder why are we suddenly faced with such a large increase.
Your letter is disappointing inasmuch as it fails to provide the level of transparency afforded to consumers when utilities or other governmental agencies propose rate hikes. You are asking for a vote without providing the voter with sufficient information to make an informed decision.
Please provide the voters with an accounting of the streetlight maintenance funds for the past five years as well as a budget showing how the proposed increase will be spent.
James P. de Bree Jr.