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Cerritos City Council Approves Water, Sewer Rate Increases

By Tammye McDuff

The Cerritos City Council conducted a public hearing at its regular meeting November 13 and approved the proposal to increase residential and commercial water and sewer customer rates over the next seven years.

The vote was unanimous 5-0.

The city contended that it was a 10% increase every year with rates doubling within that span, but the increases actually signify a 14.28% increase per year; 100% (doubling of the rates) divided by seven years equals 14.28%.

This would be the first increase since 2006.

In June of this year, the council voted 4-1 (with Councilman Barrows dissenting) to approve the proposal, however the city was legally required under proposition 218 to send notification of the potential increase to all residents, who would ultimately decide if the rate increase would go into effect.

Notification about the public hearing was sent out in bright yellow envelopes via United States Post Office mail.

The proposed increase would help to cover the cost of water, which has spiked approximately 70 percent in the last seven years. The rate adjustment would also help fund the repair of the City’s aging water and sewer infrastructure, which is approaching its 50-year life span.

According to a press release of September 26th, the hearing was to discuss the City’s proposal. Under the plan, an average resident’s water bill would increase approximately $3 per month the first year.

Residents were given the opportunity to respond to the notice. If the majority of residents oppose the increase, it would not be approved. There was a marked absence of residents at this Council meeting with only five residents submitting a formal protest in the public hearing.

Gayle Grossman, a 44-year resident addressed the Council shaming them on the material sent out saying, “a flyer was sent out regarding this increase right around election time. Many residents did not receive the information or assumed it was political garbage. What happens to those who have limited incomes? We do not need this increase.”

Longtime resident Jerry Jensen addressed the council over a month ago about the water and sewer issue. Jensen stated, “it is not a 10% increase, but a 14.28% increase per year. You have indicated that the rate increase will be for the next seven years!” Jensen commented he would like additional answers from the Council regarding the hidden agenda by stating that the bill is vague regarding rates after the seven year period. Jenson concluded his statement saying, “there are too many open ended items in this bill. Is there a specific project this increase will be designated for? You, the Council are doubling our rates!”

City Manager Art Gallucci responded stating “Under Prop 218 raising any property related fees must undergo a property protest. Cerritos contracts the refuse fees out and are not subject to Prop 218. Anything beyond a seven year period will be subject to another property protest.”

Councilman George Ray commented “We have not increased our rates for six or seven years. We are actually loosing over $1.9 million dollars. We are still in the process of dissolving the redevelopment agency and we need to retain a reserve. This measure is designed to take care of maintenance issues, helping to avoid any major water, sewer or pipe disasters. We need to see our revenues match our costs.”

Mayor Mark Pulido told residents, “valve replacements alone will cost the city $1.1 million dollars. No one likes to raise fees or taxes, but we need a clean and safe water system.”

The City Clerk reviewed 1,571 written protest forms, which represents less than half of the voting residents within in the City. A motion was made to adopt the resolution and was carried with a unanimous approval.


  • Water Water says:

    You got to love the subtle increase in water bills, ( 100%) that went under the noses of 90% of the Cerritos Property Owners.

    CCC Didnt touch:
    1. Sacred Cow;
    2. Neg Cash flow from CCPA,
    3. Nor permits Synthetic Turf.

    Long Run, the C / PPC will feel the price increases, as public at large will reduce watering their yards, and will stress out the code enforcement, when Greg Berg Retires. Trash cans storage violations, will be peanuts, to the increase in brown yards. Thanks seated CCC/ for water increase, nor represented the Island Communities which use OC water, at 66.66% more costly compared to 90703.

    Poss. conflict of interest, Cerritos sell 90% of the well water and still refuses to allow for synthetic turf, as the city is looking for a cash flow of sales revenue from the residents.



    Only 10% Residents objected to increase. Again aging seniors retirements, will feel blow.

    Near Horizon:
    Bed Tax- March 2015 CCC election
    Sheriff Tax
    Utility Tax
    Public Works Tax

  • Cerritos Resident says:

    Is it possible that a certain FAT former Council Member is running for election (maybe they are missing the free meals and travel) and the city needs the money to pay for their FREE meals?

  • …is good for the gander!

    Carol (chow-down) Chen, and Bruce Barrows
    recently opposed ABCUSD measure AA, and
    members of their group including Lyingda Johnson
    proposed closing a Haw. Gardens school and selling
    the property to raise revenue.

    Will they now propose selling parks to raise revenue,
    or as I suspect, ‘goose’ the residents of Cerritos.
    (or how about a Mello-Roos vs. a mellow goose!)

    • Cerritos Resident says:

      Let’s be real here. The only reason Hawaiian Gardens area schools were suggested to be closed is because the kids attending are dragging down state test scores.

      They come from less affluent non-Asian families. Their parents can’t afford to enroll the kids in after school tutoring schools (coincidentally many if not all owned by Asians). Low test scores makes the district look bad, hurts property values and in-turn doesn’t optimize the surrounding business environment.

      It’s not an Asian vs. Latino thing. The vast majority of Asians in Cerritos are terrific people. It’s the few influential money grabbing whores causing the problems. Similar to Bell, not all Latinos are rotten just the scum that grabbed power (based on race). It’s similar to Jessee Jackson and Al Sharpton in the African-American Community. In the Cerritos the white population has has their embarrassment wiht Cho Cho Bruce Barrows, pass the bacon and another $350 steak Jim Edwards and CCPA groupie George Ray.

  • Cerritos Resident says:

    To my understanding, the city knowing many people in the city do not READ English did NOT publish the ballot in English. Where is the outrage from Chen, Cho and Pulido?? All three minorities abusing their election base for free CCPA tickets, travel and free steak dinners.

    Most likely the yellow envelopes were tossed out as junk mail. Carol Chen who protested tax dollars for the kids seemed more than happy to grab from resident’s wallet to pay for water when the funds are available from the CCPA.

    Now I hear Grace Hu is sending out Holiday Cards so she can get back on Council. She must have her eye on abusing city funds again with more unethical city related financial transactions. Also, rumor is Jim Edwards is missing his free meals, car allowance, travel allowance and will also be running again. Is this the best a HIGHLY educated Cerritos has to offer?

    • Cerritos Resident says:

      Correction to the original comment.

      To my understanding, the city knowing many people in the city do not READ English did NOT publish the ballot [,what was mailed out,] in {languages other than] English. Where is the outrage from Chen, Cho and Pulido?? All three minorities abusing their election base for free CCPA tickets, travel and free steak dinners.


    I have resided in Cerritos for 15 years and the first thing I installed in my home was a quality Water Softener & Whole House =Filtration system…If you like I will show you my used filters each 3 months and that should be enough to convince you that the WATER quality delivered to our homes is hardly potable…. KUDOS for this as it has been lon over due. In Hawaii you pay 10x what we pay each month for water…Stop The madness…Water is Life

    • One More Cerritos Resident says:

      Thomas Conant –

      Kudos for what? Getting duped by a bunch of con-men and women? Sorry to burst your bubble, but your water issue isn’t going away and you will always need your filters.

      Water is one of the city’s open dirty secrets. However, you may not know there has always been a problem with ‘brown water.’

      Are you aware in the early 80’s the city once offered ‘tablets’ because everyone’s laundry was turning brown? Keep in mind most of the piping went in during the 70’s when the city’s housing took off. So, in a decade there was already a huge problem and it’s never going to get fixed, only band aids.

      I invite you to work with this paper and photograph your dirty filters today and update us in one year, three years and five years. I’d love to see the water clean, but it ain’t going to happen. I’m sorry Mr. Conant, but the city played you and 90% of the residents.

      Now get mad, get involved and keep on the city until they clean your water with the new price increases!