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Monday morning I watched a discussion about the proposed water rate increase. And, for the last several months, like many San Diegans, I’ve followed the reform/tax increase discussion. I am floored at how difficult it is to get information or analysis from any source not named Carl DeMaio.

I have read Mr. DeMaio’s roadmap a few times, and it has some real positives in it. Managed competition, possibly trimming certain staff and reforming portions of the pension all have merit. Conversely, the target figure that removes 100 percent of retiree health coverage may be legally permissible, but it seems a bit inappropriate. If you worked for the city for 20 years with one agreement in mind, and gave up other opportunities because it was a worthwhile trade-off, to get the rug tugged out from under you near the end of your career seems patently unfair.

I understand that Mr. DeMaio is willing to discuss alternatives to a 100 percent reduction, but that brings me to the real point of this letter.

Where in the world are the rest of the voices?

We had a major pipe burst that flooded the homes of people I know here in North Park. I don’t know if that was the result of an aging water infrastructure that there isn’t money to replace, but if it is, that’s a problem I want addressed. And, I am willing to pay a little bit more to have it done sooner than later.

Where are the voices from the water department explaining why this increase is needed? Where are the political voices presenting their own well-reasoned alternatives to address our endless stream of financial crises in this city?

If I could request anything of VOSD, it would be to shine a brighter light on alternatives that other city and local leadership are offering to solve our collective problems. Or, if there are none, expose the glaring hole that is a conversation about the city’s future that seems to be dominated by one set of views.

This is not, by the way, a fault of Mr. DeMaio. Even if part of his agenda is to increase name recognition (something I don’t know either way), at least he is doing the research, encouraging the conversation, and trying to help solve our city’s problems.

I don’t necessarily agree with all that he has to say on these issues, but in the absence of any clearly laid out alternatives, his plans will frame the discussion.

So, I would like to ask VOSD, if the other voices of leadership are out there, please find them and report on them as well. And please give us a counterpoint on the water rate hike issue so at least we know what all the issues are.

Omar Passons lives in North Park.

Omar Passons

I live a fortunate life and want to help people live with dignity and opportunity.

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