In early May of 2011, Plaintiff John Crawford filed a lawsuit in hopes of invalidating the City's recent water rate increase. In June, the City responded to the lawsuit challenging the complaint; and shortly thereafter the plaintiff approached the City seeking a non-monetary settlement.
The City was very confident it would prevail in court; however, the City Council decided to accept Mr. John Crawford’s settlement offer and the case was officially dismissed on July 29th. The City Council agreed to accept the settlement offer, basing their decision upon what they felt was best for the City’s residents and water customers, noting that further judicial proceedings would result in additional legal fees. In exchange for the dismissal, the City agreed that in the event the City was to consider a water rate increase, before May 1, 2014, the City would continue to provide water customers with a Fact Sheet, similar to one it provided during the last rate increase process, as well as information regarding low income discounts, which is always available at City Hall and the Public Library. The City expressly denied that it breached any duty or obligation, and maintains it fully complied with the Proposition 218 rate increase process.
Mayor John Buchanan stated, “The informational piece requested in this settlement is information that we provided in the past, and we agreed to provide it again because it will assist residents in making informed decisions. We would have agreed to do this without a lawsuit. Although I believe there was no basis for this lawsuit, this resolution ends the matter at no cost to residents.”