This just in from our Austin Energy Ratepayer Watchdog, Bill Oakey who is urging you to come to the public hearing this Thursday at City Hall at 6 pm: (you might call or email Council too, see below)
“Austin Energy’s latest “revised” proposal does nothing to reduce the utility’s spending, reduce fixed charges for residential customers, stop the shifting of costs from industrial to residential customers, and keep a rate design that rewards energy conservation and low usage. The $22 in fixed customer charges is still in place for this year. The 200 kWh of electricity that is included does next to nothing to soften the impact of the high charges.
And in a new and shocking twist, the new plan includes the ‘Leffingwell Subsidy,’ which provides a 6.1% discount for out-of-city ratepayers. This would exacerbate the existing problem of Austin citizens paying for growth, instead of growth paying for itself. And on top of that, Austin Energy just last year signed a 10 year agreement to pay a 3% franchise fee to several suburban communities served by the utility. No other municipal utility in Texas offers an out-of-city ratepayer subsidy. The Austin Energy service area is twice the geographic size of Austin. Providing an electric rate discount would stifle future annexation strategies and set up a war with developers over inside versus outside Austin building plans. It would lead to a serious erosion of our tax base. One more nail in the coffin of unaffordability for Austinites!
Come out to the public hearing and tell Mayor Leffingwell that we reject his plan, and ask the rest of the City Council to turn it down flat. There is some support on the City Council for a delay in the rate case to allow for better analysis of the facts and time to prepare a fair and equitable plan. That’s what Austin Energy customers deserve.”
Here’s how you can contact the Council:
Mayor Lee Leffingwell (512) 974-2250, Lee.Leffingwell@ci.austin.tx.us
Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole (512) 974-2266, Sheryl.Cole@ci.austin.tx.us
Council Member Mike Martinez (512) 974-2264, Mike.Martinez@ci.austin.tx.us
Council Member Laura Morrison (512) 974-2258, Laura.Morrison@ci.austin.tx.us
Council Member Kathie Tovo (512) 974-2255, Kathie.Tovo@ci.austin.tx.us
Council Member Bill Spelman (512) 974-2256, Bill.Spelman@ci.austin.tx.us
Council Member Chris Riley (512) 974-2260, Chris.Riley@ci.austin.tx.us
Show up at City Hall at 6 pm tomorrow, Thursday, January 12th and sign up against this and speak out! OR, email or, better yet, call the City Council and tell them to stop these unfair increases. (See email and phones of Council at the bottom of this email.)
ANNOUNCEMENTS & IMPORTANT DATES!
Join us at the Martin Luther King Day Celebration
Next Monday, Jan. 16th, anytime 10 to 4 pm. We’ll be gathering petition signatures at the Austinites for Geographic Representation booth at Huston-Tillotson University and at the march, which begins at UT at 9 a.m. and then goes to the state Capitol. Send us a note if you can help anytime that day.
Thursday, Jan. 19th, Charter Revision Committee meeting in north Austin at 6:30 pm at Lord’s Church of Austin, 301 W. Anderson Lane. The focus will be on an independent redistricting commission to draw the lines for geographic districts!
SAVE THIS DATE!
Austinites for Geographic Representation meets on Saturday, January 28th, 3:30 to 5:30 pm. Interested in attending, reply to this message or call Linda.
Thank you Austin — get up, stand up!
PO Box 42053, Austin, TX 78704* 512-535-0989, 657-2089
Mayor Lee Leffingwell (512) 974-2250,
Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole (512) 974-2266,
Council Member Mike Martinez (512) 974-2264,
Council Member Laura Morrison (512) 974-2258,
Council Member Kathie Tovo (512) 974-2255,
Council Member Bill Spelman (512) 974-2256,
Council Member Chris Riley (512) 974-2260,