Fresno taxpayers say water hike petition is misleading


By John Hrabe | Cal Watchdog

A group of Fresno taxpayers hoping to overturn the city’s recent water rate hike has filed a formal complaint accusing the city attorney of issuing a biased and misleading title and summary for their referendum.

It’s the latest development in a bitter fight between the city and taxpayers. Last August, the city approved a controversial plan by Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin to double water rates in order to fund a $410 million upgrade to the city’s water system. But when a group of taxpayers led by former Fresno County Supervisor Doug Vagim objected to the plan, the city took the taxpayers to court in order to stop a referendum campaign.

Earlier this month, a state appeals court upheld a lower court ruling that ordered the city to fulfill its ministerial duties and issue a petition title and summary. Now the taxpayers say that the title and summary, as prepared by City Attorney Doug Sloan, are biased in favor of the water tax hike.

at Cal Watchdog.

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