From Councilmember Kymberly Pine
On Wednesday, I introduced a Charter Amendment to eliminate the Board of Water Supply's retroactive billing policy. I believe it is a fundamentally unfair practice to retroactively charge ratepayers whose accounts weren't properly billed by the BWS.
Unfortunately, for many of us the BWS' back-billing practice has already inflicted financial hardship. A slew of customers who received water services at an "estimated" rate were billed, only to open their water bills months later to find "recalculated" bills for back-billed charges. In some cases, these "recalculated" bills totaled thousands of dollars in new charges. For families throughout our communities, and especially those living paycheck to paycheck, this is simply unacceptable.
My proposed Charter Amendment will ensure that any improperly billed ratepayer accounts will not be back-billed. Instead, the financial burden will fall on the BWS, not the ratepayer, to ensure that proper payments are made going forward. We can no longer allow the BWS to unilaterally "recalculate" bills to charge customers more for the BWS’ mistake. My fellow Councilmembers supported my proposal and I am eager to hold a public hearing in the Committee on Executive Matters and Legal Affairs.
YouTube - Resolution 13-216
To learn more, please watch a video recap of the October 9th Council Meeting by clicking on the YouTube link above. Additionally, if you have a back-billing story to share, we’d like to hear it. Follow this link to email me and I will be sure to share your story with members of the Council and the BWS as I move forward to fight for this important City Charter Amendment.