Cal Am as an octopus

Letter Monterey County Herald, August 18, 2011

At the monthly meeting of the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District, I expected the board to follow a staff recommendation to study public ownership of California American Water. Instead, I saw the octopus (Cal Am) flex its tentacles in the form of a presentation by the company's hired guns.

Rather than moving forward with the study, in the interest of all ratepayers, the board with the exception of directors Lehman and Lewis was cowed into submission. It concluded it could not afford to be "distracted."

Distracted from what? It is their job to assure ratepayers an appropriate supply of water at the lowest possible cost. Somehow our welfare was again subordinated to those of special interests that are more than willing to simply pass spiraling water costs along to their customers.

Eighty-five percent of Americans receive their water from public utilities. Why should we be denied the obvious benefits of owning our own water company by the antics of the octopus, which is very content, supported by enablers, to charge whatever the traffic will bear?

Claude B. Hutchison Jr.,
Carmel Valley

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