You can’t live without water or money—unless you’re a hermit with good hunting/fishing skills.
As I reported in this week’s Islander, the water rate issue has not yet been decided. Here’s my take on it, for whatever it is worth.
As a mainland resident, I can’t say I jumped for joy when I first heard the proposal that mainland electricity users help pay for Catalina’s fresh water.
However, I can’t see how Island residents can possible foot the bill that they would be looking at, even if they have to pay it over a three-year period. A t0-year incremental payment plan might be possible, but I don’t know if Southern California Edison can wait that long. Time is as important to a company’s bottom line as cashflow and productivity. Edison is entitled to make a profit if they can do so legally.
And Edison officials certainly don’t want to bankrupt the Island. A bankrupt customer can’t buy anything.
If I were brilliant enough to have a solution, I’d offer it. I’m not that smart.
Usually, a reporter shouldn’t cover a story if he has a stake in it. In this case, it isn’t possible to avoid being involved. If I lived on the Island, I’d have a vested interest in the water bill. As a mainland electricity user, I have a vested interest in the outcome. The only person who could cover this story without having a stake in it would be a resident of another state.
For what it is worth, I could probably endure a small bump in my electric bill far better than an Islander could endure a large bump in his or her water bill. All I can say is, I hope all parties to the negotiations realize that their interests are intertwined.
Always a pleasure,