Antioch School Board Votes Against Clean Water Tax

On a 4-1 vote the Antioch School Board decided to not support the 2012 Clean Water Initiative at their meeting on Wednesday, March 28, 2012.  Trustees Diane Gibson-Gray, Gary Hack, Walter Ruehlig and Claire Smith voted no and Trustee Joy Motts gave the sole affirmative vote.

If passed will place a $12 per year assessment on property tax bills in Antioch. Cynthia Ruehlig, speaking as a citizen, gave public comment claiming that the entire county was being asked to pick up the burden for a few cities that suffer inadequate sewage release during heavy downpours.

School official Tim Forrester disturbingly reported that four A.U.S.D. parcel bills were not yet found but that the total bill for the entire District would probably be in the vicinity of $34,000 a year. Mrs. Ruehlig, a member of the County Board of Education which also voted against the initiative, questioned whether that money might not, in fact, be spent better on education for our children, especially as the current annual 14 million clean water fee budgeting was not fully explained, let alone the new request for an $8 million annual increase.

Board trustees also questioned the murky process of the vote. They were puzzled as to why this was called a fee and not a tax;  why it was not a ballot measure with an opposition statement but instead a mail-in vote that had a slick campaign brochure and a $2 million dollar cost; why foreigners could vote for it; and why the votes were not counted by the County Election Board, but a private firm.
The fee will generate an estimated $8.7 million per year, if the initiative passes. Voters have until April 6, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. to have their ballots received in order to be counted.

One Comment to “Antioch School Board Votes Against Clean Water Tax”

  1. Arne Simonsen says:

    At least the AUSD Board had the courage to vote NO on the so-called “Clean Water Parcel Tax”. The same cannot be said of the Antioch City Council which couldn’t make up there mind with a 2-2 vote (which means that the city will not be casting any vote!!).

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