Newsletter Golden State Tries to Block Ojai FLOW from Rate Case-1-23-15

Golden State Tries to Block Ojai FLOW from Rate Case

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The circumstances surrounding Golden State Water Company’s objection to Ojai FLOW being involved in its rate case proceedings with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) were well presented by Tim Dewar in the October 24, 2014, issue of the Ojai Valley News.

The Ojai FLOW Steering Committee had created a task force headed by Steering Committee Member Bob Daddi. After the first rate case meeting, the task force decided that legal help was needed to coordinate and present all of the arguments. Ojai FLOW went to the City and received a stipend agreement of up to fifty thousand dollars for its out-of-pocket-expenses.

Ojai FLOW Steering Committee Members would not receive any money for their labor out of the money provided by the City. Yet legal coordination was needed, so attorney and Ojai FLOW Steering Committee member Ryan Blatz volunteered to coordinate all of the legal issues, saying that he would request (with no guarantee) intervenor status with the CPUC in the hope that he might be reimbursed for some of his labor.

Golden State got word that Ojai FLOW was involved and immediately went to the CPUC, claiming that Ojai FLOW was just a front for the City of Ojai and shouldn’t receive any money from the CPUC. The CPUC didn’t check its facts, and ruled in favor of Golden State. Ojai FLOW could appeal, but we have decided that this would be more work than it’s worth.

The options were to 1.) back off and drop out of the CPUC rate case, 2.) use some of the City funds to compensate Ryan for his work on the case, or 3.) attempt to raise a substantial amount of money from outside donations.

After discussing the issues with many of you, the Steering Committee voted unanimously to go back to the City and make it clear that Ryan may be compensated out of City stipend. The $50K will also be used to cover expenses associated with the case, to hire experts to testify on behalf of Ojai, and to compensate other attorneys who will be working with Ryan.

The Ojai FLOW Steering Committee has always been straightforward and transparent with all of you, and we want to make sure that you understand what we are doing. The Ojai City Council will be voting on this at its meeting next Tuesday (1/27/2015) at City Hall at 7:00 p.m.

Thank you.

Yours in good faith,

The Ojai FLOW Steering Committee Members

Ryan Blatz
Bob Daddi
Stan Greene
Dale Hansen
Richard Hajas
Pat McPherson
Lou Torres

Please pass this on to others.