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The Watchdog
Majority Protests Garbage Rates in Sutter Creek

About RPA
Ratepayer Protection Alliance (RPA) was formed to support the rights of the people of Amador County against unfair rate increases, which are usually used to subsidize special interests. Recently, RPA has assisted citizens who successfully protested several water rate increases. RPA is committed to ensuring that water, wastewater and garbage rates in Amador County are justified, and do not unfairly burden local residents.

RPA works hard to minimize costs of informing the public of unfair rate increases. RPA operates on the donated time of volunteers and no one is paid for their efforts. Donations for postage costs can be sent to:
Ratepayer Protection Alliance
P.O. Box 51
Pine Grove CA 95665

Majority Protests Garbage Rates in Sutter Creek

At a hearing on March 18, 2013, Ratepayer Protection Alliance (RPA) turned in 715 signed garbage rate protests to the Sutter Creek City Council. One person submitted a protest at the meeting and 6 others sent their protest directly to the City before the meeting. A handful of people withdrew protests, so the final number was 716. To stop the rate increase under Proposition 218, 588 protests are needed according to the City.

At the hearing, not one Council member asked any questions, and despite repeated public requests, no one from the City asked ACES to justify the rate increases which total 41% over the next 4.5 years.

On March 22, the Sutter Creek attorney and City staff spent all day counting the protests. City Manager Sean Rabe also participated most of the day. Two RPA representatives, two officers from ACES, and two members of the public were also at the counting.

437 protests were accepted by the city attorney and 279 were rejected. A protest was accepted if it met one or both of the following conditions:

  • The name on the protest was on the City’s list of Sutter Creek sewer customers
  • The name on the protest was on a list of garbage customers provided by ACES
ACES and the City have refused to provide any information to independently verify the accuracy of either list.

In at least one case, the protest of a well-known couple who have lived in Sutter Creek for decades was rejected because the wife signed the protest, but the husband’s name was in ACES’ records. In another case, an ACES representative objected to counting the name “Jay” because only the single letter “J” appeared on the list.

Cole’s time has already cost the City $2000. He will now make a report for the Council meeting to be held on April 1.

You can email the Sutter Creek City Council and let them know how you feel about using your public funds to disqualify your protests so that a company granted a monopoly by the City does not have to disclose its true costs. Or, you can contact them individually at:

The Watchdog will keep you informed as soon as we have more information.
Please forward this message to others in Amador County and help us get the word out!

Visit us on the web:
Our mailing address is: Ratepayer Protection Alliance, P.O. Box 51, Pine Grove CA 95665
Our telephone: 209-223-0993

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