Water Rates Update from City of San Diego Public Utilities Department

Good morning Del Cerro:
I received an update regarding water rates from Brent Eidson, the Deputy Director of External Affairs for the City of San Diego’s Public Utilities Department.

Jay, the Public Utilities Department learned a lot from our customers earlier this year and has taken a number of steps to improve our meter reading, customer service and approach to addressing customer concerns related to water billing. Some of these improvements may be visible to customers, such as leaving behind a door hanger to let you know that we’ve read your meter or if there is a problem that prevented us from obtaining that read to less obvious changes including internal controls to ensure accurate bills are being issued after the meter reading occurs. Additionally, the City has installed a new “State of the Art Water Meter Test Bench” to validate the accuracy of our water meters. This test bench is used when customers request we test their meter for accuracy, as well as sample testing new meters from the manufacturer before being put into service, and sample testing old meters as they come out of service.

Additionally, the independent City Auditor is conducting a comprehensive audit of the Department’s meter reading and billing operations with a formal report expected by the end of June. The Department has also hired a specialized consultant to conduct an exhaustive review of our entire ‘meter to cash’ operation. This means they are reviewing policies, procedures, protocols, etc. of all aspects of the Department’s operations related to meter reading to bill issuance. We expect to receive a final report in June which may lead to additional operational changes to improve our services for our customers.

While we recognize these are Department level efforts, we are still committed to providing excellent customer service to each of our customers. If a customer still has a concern about his/her individual water bill, we encourage him/her to call us at 619-515-3500 and allow us to help resolve the billing inquiry. We have increased staffing levels at our call center to reduce call wait times.

Brent also included a frequently asked questions sheet. Here is the link.water-billing-faqs

Jay Wilson, Secretary
Del Cerro Action Council

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DCAC Agenda – April 26, 2018 – 7 p.m. – Temple Emanu-El

Del Cerro Action Council Agenda April 26, 2018 7 p.m. at Temple Emanu-El

1. Call meeting to Order

2. Pledge of Allegiance

3. Approval of April 26th Agenda

4. Approval of the January 25th DCAC General Meeting Minutes (posted at delcerroactioncouncil.org)

5. Community Police Report
• SDPD Community Relations Officer John Steffen
• SDSU Police Community Resource Officer Mark Peterson

6. DCAC Officers Report
• President Report
• Vice President Report
• Treasurer Report

7. Elected & Appointed Officials Report:
• Councilmember Scott Sherman: Liz Saidkhanian, Council Representative for Del Cerro
• Congresswoman Susan Davis: Representative Zach Bunshaft
• Rachel Gregg, Community Relations Manager for SDSU

8. Main Topics:
• Update on former ColRich housing development adjacent to College Avenue
Pastor Kendall Laughlin, Executive Pastor for All Peoples Church & Marcela Escobar-Eck,
Principal with the Atlantis Group (Land Planning)
• Joe Regan – Del Cerro resident – a former fighter and commercial airline pilot reporting on Montgomery-Gibbs Airport Master Plan Update and potential impact to our community.

9. Public Comment – Members of the public may speak for 2 minutes on an item not on the April 26 DCAC Agenda

10. Old Business
• Water Bills

11. New Business

12. Next Meeting – Thursday, July 26 – 7 p.m. at Temple Emanu-El

13. Adjourn

Visit DCAC website @ delcerroactioncouncil.org

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DCAC Meeting Minutes from January 25, 2018

Del Cerro Action Council Minutes from the January 25th meeting

The January 25, 2018 Del Cerro Action Council meeting was called to order at 7 p.m. by President Mark Rawlins. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited and the January agenda as well as the October general meeting minutes were approved.

SDPD Community Relations Officer John Steffen gave the community police report. There were no violent crimes in Del Cerro–2 burglaries and 6 car citations. Thieves look for easy prey–unlocked doors/windows and viewable items left in cars. The police will be monitoring pedestrian safety and vehicle safety. Be extra vigilant!

SDSU police lieutenant in charge of investigations stated there were 28 service calls so far in January to the Adobe Falls and 49 security checks during peak hiking times.

President’s report—The Friends of Del Cerro are still working on the Maintenance Assessment District plan. The Engineer’s Report is done, but the city is on hold and that makes the next step, and the petition, on hold as well. The City is still analyzing the effects of the lawsuit involving the La Jolla Maintenance Assessment District. The verdict in that lawsuit found that the District did not provide any special benefits, just general benefits. The City needs to figure out what is a special vs a general (standard) benefit. Once that is determined, the Del Cerro report can be revised if needed and the petition circulated.
Mark reported that the DCAC has approximately $15,000 in its coffers, mostly leftover from the SUSU lawsuit.
Audience question on Colrich development — Mark stated it passed and that he thought the next step was for Colrich to go back to Navajo Planners and that the community could ask for improvements such as a pedestrian walkway to the Windmill Farms shopping center.

Council District 7 Update – Liz Saidkhanian, Scott Sherman’s representative for Del Cerro noted that Scott was asking people to support his proposal to have the council president be rotated as the county does by speaking at the Monday council meeting at 2 pm (parking will be validated). Currently the council president is elected by council members which makes it political. If passed Scott would recuse himself from being council president, so this proposal is not self-serving, but in the best interest of the city.
Liz stated the city has doubled the quality of life team to help the homeless but only 10% of the homeless will take the offered services. The city is removing about 10 tons of trash a week from the homeless in the river camps. About $250,000 a month is spent on these cleanups.
Rosemary wants a law against panhandling and an audience member stated that the state of CA spends 80,000 per homeless person a year to fight homelessness.
Sue Braun asked about getting a No-U-turn sign on Marne (she had read about that idea in the Mission Times Courier via a letter to the editor). Liz told her anyone could make such a request on the city’s website and that it would take about 3 months to process.

Congresswoman Susan Davis – Zach Bunshaft, Congresswoman Susan Davis’s representative, reported that Susan voted against the budget because it did not include any wildfire disaster relief among other things. The White House budget is due 2/12, but the extension expires 2/8 so there will be more budget discussions. Susan is on the higher education subcommittee and wants to make college more affordable. One way to do this is to have apprenticeship programs so students can earn while they learn. She is working on a homeless census tonight at 3 am.

Michael Vogl, the Deputy Director of Customer Service of the San Diego Water Department and David Bryant(??) came to listen to customer concerns. Mike stated that the water department cares about feedback and wants bills to be accurate. They are still reviewing high bills. They invited everyone to sign a list and they will callback to hear the individual concerns. Mike discussed the general reasons for high bills: *Increase in usage (guests, leaks, more people living in the house)
*Additional fees such as security deposit or the fee for a returned check
*Inaccurate meter readings (1.33% based on 2013 audit).
The Nov/Dec bill added an extra 10 days, — a one time change so the bill period was 70 days instead of the normal 55-60 days. The water department stated they prorated the tiers so folks weren’t negatively impacted by the longer billing period. The winter billing period for sewer rates is based on daily use, not the billing period.
Michael and David were asked to look at the proration calculation since everyone was shocked at their Dec bill and how much higher those extra 10 days cost relative to a normal bill).
Audience members related their shocking increases even after removing their lawns. One person paid $260 in leak detection fees and another $60 for meter calibration testing, those that paid those fees had no leaks nor meter issues, just high, unexplained bills.
If a bill is read low or estimated low one billing period, the next billing period will reflect a higher usage. It also can cause the rate to jump if the higher bill causes an increase in the tier levels.
The water department offers a free service: they will meet you in your home and make suggestions as to how you can save water.
Mark asked that he be apprised of the findings of the reasons for the high water bills the attendees listed for the water department to check into. Mark also asked if our water meter reader kept changing or if we got the same person each period.

SDSU Rachel Gregg, the Community Relations Manager at SDSU discussed the EIR update. In 2007, SDSU revised their EIR after the court found the first one inadequate. The portion of the plan impacting Del Cerro was the building by SDSU of 48 townhomes accessed through Mill Peak and then later building 124 to 300 townhomes or condos in the lower section of their land between Highway 8 and Adobe Falls Road. The housing would be sold to SDSU faculty and staff at lower than market prices. The City of San Diego, SANDAG and the Metropolitan Transit System questioned several traffic related issues which the judge ruled SDSU needed to re-work. One issue was that SDSU had to pay for mitigation for their share of the mitigation cost, not wait for legislative appropriation. Another issue was transportation demand measures which SDSU is working on reducing traffic going into SDSU such as encouraging using transit passes and bikes. The third issue was an analysis of transit-related impacts to trolley and bus service. SDSU concluded that there is plenty of capacity on the trolley and buses. The traffic studies were updated, particularly for Del Cerro Blvd and College. This study was done in April 2016, on a weekday when schools were in session. Even at the higher traffic levels in 2007, per SDSU, there was no significant impact for the additional SDSU-caused traffic.
Now that the issues have been re-addressed, and once the public comment period is over in a month, the California State University trustees can approve the plan. Once the plan is approved, the 48 upper portion units could be built.
However, Rachel said that SDSU is not planning on through with this project right now. The focus in on Mission Valley. “Adobe Falls is not a conversation.”
Rachel noted that SDSU had 90,000 applications this year, up 11% from last year. They think it is because SDSU offers and affordable education.
An audience member questioned why SDSU had to expand versus building another campus in Chula Vista or using more satellite campuses such as Brawley and Calexico. SDSU will not be using any more satellite campuses. As far as Chula Vista, no one really knew, but thought the matter was put to rest because another campus would entail another set of administrative costs.
Rosemary wondered if SDSU would trade the Adobe Falls Land if they got the Mission Valley land. Rachel thought it was possible, but stated she cannot speak for SDSU. Laura Shinn the Director of Planning for SDSU jumped right in and said that since SDSU was at their cap of 25,000 full time equivalent students (FTEs), to get to the next cap level of 35,000 FTEs, SDSU had to use all its resources. SDSU wants to grow, and to do so, they need to implement their plans, although there are no plans yet to do so. In November, SDSU expects to have its new president and is cleaning up open issues so the new president can start with a clean slate. Complying with the court order to rework the traffic section of the EIR is a clean-up activity.
Rachel offered to give any interested person a tour of SDSU. She stated SDSU is cleaning up the brush and painting over the graffiti at Adobe Falls.

There being no other comments or any other business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 8:20 pm.
Website – Delcerroactioncouncil.org

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ColRich Housing Project to be replaced by a Church?

Good evening Del Cerro – Matt Adams, the past president of Navajo Community Planners, Inc. (NCPI), just called and informed me he was notified that the ColRich housing project below the Chevron Service Station has been withdrawn and may be replaced by a church. According to Matt, representatives from the church may be making a presentation at NCPI in May or June, and the approval process will start all over again.

We will make a concerted effort to have someone from the church project attend, or at least provide some information for our April 26th DCAC meeting which will be at 7:00 p.m. at Temple Emanu-El. At this time that is all the information we have. An update will be posted as we gather additional data.

Jay Wilson
Secretary, DCAC

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Great Car Show This Saturday, April 14 at Palisades Presbyterian Church in Allied Gardens

Good morning Del Cerro: Tomorrow, Saturday, April 14, there is going to be a large Car Show at the Allied Gardens Presbyterian Church located at 6301 Birchwood, from 10:00 to 3:00 p.m. More than 100 classic cars will be on display. The event is FREE to the public and proceeds from registering a car will go to fighting Parkinson’s disease. The event is sponsored by Tremble Clefs San Diego, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit corporation that is part of a nation-wide organization promoting therapeutic singing for people living with Parkinson’s disease. Below is some text the event website. Here is a link to the flyer with more information. TCCS 2018 CARSHOW18 FLYER

The Tremble Clefs FIGHTING PARKINSON’S 2nd Annual Car Show will be held at the Palisades Presbyterian Church, 6301 Birchwood St., Allied Gardens, on Saturday, April 14, from 10 AM to 3 PM. All makes and models are welcome. Proceeds will benefit the Tremble Clefs therapeutic singing program for people with Parkinson’s. Members of the Tremble Clefs will be assisting in the show as a way of demonstrating their commitment to fighting the progression of Parkinson’s.
This is the second annual car show put on by the Tremble Clefs. The first show was a success, drawing in more than 110 entrants, and awarding 22 trophies in various categories. In addition, the Tremble Clefs put on a live concert for all entrants and spectators. The concert will again be a featured attraction this year.
As a general condition of registration, registrants must acknowledge a general release of claims that may arise from their participation in the show. For show Info and updates, visit http://www.trembleclefs.com or contact Rudy by email at: algums40685@mypacks.net or by phone at: 619.246.2094.

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Good afternoon Del Cerro – I received the following email from Wayne Reiter, the Airports Program Manager for the City of San Diego regarding the next Master Plan Advisory Committee meeting for the Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport on Tuesday, April 24th. This is two days prior to the April Del Cerro Action Council meeting where Ralph Richardson, a resident of our Navajo Community, will give us an update on the status of the Master Plan Update for the airport and what residents can do to weigh in on the matter. The biggest concern is more low-flying jets over Del Cerro. Jay Wilson, Secretary, DCAC
Greetings. The next Master Plan Advisory Committee (PAC) meeting for Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport (MYF) will be Tuesday, April 24th, 2018 from 3 – 5 PM at the City of San Diego Public Utilities Department Auditorium, 9192 Topaz Way, San Diego 92123. Topic for this meeting will be recommended alternative.

Working Paper #5, Alternatives Development, Evaluation and Selection, has been uploaded to the project website: http://www.sdairportplans.com/documents/


Wayne J. Reiter, A.A.E.
Airports Program Manager
City of San Diego
Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport (MYF)/Brown Field Airport (SDM)
3750 John J. Montgomery Drive
San Diego, CA 92123
T (858) 573-1436

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Draft SDSU Master Plan Update – Comment Period Ends February 25

Good afternoon all: a reminder from Mark Rawlins, Chair of the DCAC – The deadline for commenting on the Draft SDSU 2007 Master Plan Update is February 25. Here is a link to the document on the SDSU website to the document on the SDSU website. Mark Rawlins urges everyone to review the document as it relates to Adobe Falls and to submit a comment. Do a search for “Adobe” when you open the document. It will save you a lot of time searching through the hundreds of pages. A hard copy is also available at the College-Rolando Library located at 6600 Montezuma Road.

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