I was very disappointed to receive and study the Idyllwild Water District’s letter stating its plan to increase our water rates for the next five years, and after having just had a rate increase last year.

While the water district notice states, “Just as many households incur increased expenses,” it doesn’t make clear the rate of increase. I am shocked and feel misled that an increase at four to five times the rate of inflation, and for five years running, is attempting to be characterized as normal. My water bill will increase by between 60 and 85 percent.

Whatever happened to fiscal responsibility? This degree of increase will only create a disincentive for the water district to become more efficient in its operations.

How does a water district board treat its community this way? Proposition 218 makes clear that a Notice of Intention to increase rates can be sent out to ratepayers prior to the notice we received, essentially limiting our input, and thus making this increase a done deal.

Prop. 218 also states the helpfulness of including percentages in the written material for people to better understand the impact of the proposal, neither of which the water district chose to do for us.

Finally, for our comment period, the district chose to give Idyllwild the absolute minimum 45-day period. This sadly, is nothing short of a massive rate increase being rammed through.

Please let’s attend the Idyllwild Water Board meeting this coming Wednesday, May 16, at 6 p.m. to voice our opposition.

David Lilieholm