Published on May 29, 2010
More Public Officials Urge Voters to Reject
Takeover of Novato
Yet another public official - a prominent Marin County water board director
- has joined those opposing Measure F on the Novato ballot June 8.
Rick Fraites, Director, North Marin Water District has announced he is opposed
to Veolia Water taking over wastewater operations at the Novato Sanitary District.
A large number of former and current Novato and Marin County elected officials
are also endorsing a "No" vote on Measure F, expressing major concerns about
turning over a new water treatment plant to a private company with a poor environmental
record, and a history of raising rates for consumers.
One Bay Area mayor whose city is stuck in a contract with Veolia Water - which
wants to run Novato Sanitary District plant - is warning Novato voters to not
privatize their current public-owned facilities because it will cost ratepayers
more. Veolia's promises to cut rates turned into a 47 percent increase since
2006 and are slated to rise 8 percent annually through 2014 - the highest rates
in the East Bay.
"There are three wastewater treatment plants in Richmond. Ratepayers served
by the Veolia plant are charged three to four times as much. I caution other
cities of going down this same path," said Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin,
who endorsed a "No" vote on Measure F.
Others notables opposed to Measure F include former Novato mayor Jim Leland,
Novato Planning Commissioner Peter Tiernan, Fairfax vice-mayor Lawrence Bragman,
San Rafael city councilperson Greg Brockbank and Fairfax city councilperson
The Sierra Club of California has endorsed a "NO" vote on Measure F, which
was placed on the ballot by outraged citizens - 4,000 voters, twice the number
needed, signed a referendum to put the decision on the ballot after only two
weeks of signature-gathering.
Veolia has the 4th worst record for sewage spills in California, according
to the State Water Board. Burlingame was sued after a Veolia-operated plant
reportedly dumped more than 10 million gallons of wastewater and untreated
sewage into San Francisco Bay.