Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor
Proposed Seattle City Light rate increase
Recover savings first
Editor, The Times:
Dear Mayor Mike McGinn,
I understand the need to sometimes raise taxes and fees. But a 46 percent hike over eight years is a heist. [“Businesses question power plan,” NWTuesday, May 8.]
The past and proposed increases are more than double the average inflation rate of 2 percent over the past five years. And by the way, for those on a fixed retirement income, the cost-of-living adjustments haven’t even kept up with that average 2 percent.
Here’s my tax payee’s counterproposal: You and Seattle City Light go forth now with sleeves rolled up and recover $20 million of the identified $35 million in management and operational savings. Come back in a year after the funds are rescued and we can talk in good faith and renewed trust, and I expect strong public support.
Otherwise, all I am hearing is a ringing in the ear as a result of the same sort of singalong coming from the city, county and school board.
— Tom Ruszala, Seattle
I was happy to read that one member of the panel that has recommended the rate increase was Eugene Wasserman, who was appointed “to represent customers at large.”
I don’t have any idea who Wasserman is or about his expertise in electrical utilities. I would like a full explanation of how he can justify an increase of over 4.5 percent per year to electric rates that comes on top of a 9 percent per year increase over the last 2 years, as noted in the article.
It seems to me that a 37 percent increase over 8 years is outrageous. I find it hard to believe that costs have risen that much, which leads me to the conclusion that what we have had is gross mismanagement of the utility.
Where has the Seattle City Council oversight been? The process may have been “incredibly transparent,” as noted by Wasserman, but as an owner and customer of City Light I would like a much more transparent explanation of the justification for the increase.
— Frank Lippman, Seattle