CITY COUNCIL AGENDA ITEM
Meeting Date: August 14, 2007
Subject/Title: Adopt a Resolution of the City Council of the City of
Brentwood Adopting Guidelines for the Submission and Tabulation of Protests
in Connection with Rate Hearings Conducted Pursuant to Article XIIID,
Section 6 of the California Constitution
Prepared by: Denise Davies, Chief Financial Operations Officer
Marna Huber, Management Analyst
Submitted by: Pamela Ehler, Director of Finance and Information Systems
Adopt a Resolution of the City Council of the City of Brentwood Adopting
Guidelines for the Submission and Tabulation of Protests in Connection with
Rate Hearings Conducted Pursuant to Article XIIID, Section 6 of the
A recent California Supreme Court decision (Bighorn-Desert View Water Agency
v. Verjil) held that certain utility consumption charges are
property-related fees subject to the requirements of Article XIIID, Section
6 of the California Constitution. That constitutional provision, which was
adopted by the voters in 1996 as part of Proposition 218, requires that
local governments give a special form of mailed notice at least 45 days
before holding the public hearing on the increase of a property-related fee.
The provision also provides that certain affected persons may submit
protests with respect to proposed rate increases.
The requirements of the applicable notice and protest provisions are
relatively brief, and do not make it absolutely clear how, for example,
local agencies should count protests they receive. Consequently legal
counsel has advised that the City adopt guidelines that interpret
Proposition 218 and will govern how the City will conduct protest
proceedings. These guidelines are consistent with those adopted by other
There is no fiscal impact associated with the adoption of this Resolution
for directing staff to follow guidelines for the submission and tabulation
Attachment A - Guidelines
A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BRENTWOOD ADOPTING
GUIDELINES FOR THE SUBMISSION AND TABULATION OF PROTESTS IN CONNECTION WITH
RATE HEARINGS CONDUCTED PURSUANT TO ARTICLE XIIID, SECTION 6 OF THE
WHEREAS, Article XIIID, Section 6 of the California Constitution requires
the City to consider written protests to certain proposed increases to
utility rates; and
WHEREAS, the California Constitution does not offer specific guidance as to
who is allowed to submit protests, how written protests are to be submitted,
or how the City is to tabulate the protests.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the City Council of the City of Brentwood
that the Council hereby adopts the guidelines for the submission and
tabulation of protest attached hereto as Exhibit “A” and incorporated herein
PASSED, APPROVED AND ADOPTED by the Council of the City of Brentwood at a
regular meeting held on the 14th day of August 2007 by the following vote:
City of Brentwood, California
GUIDELINES FOR THE SUBMISSION AND TABULATION OF PROTESTS
Where notice of a public hearing with respect to a utility rate increase has
been given by the City pursuant to Article XIIID, Section 6 of the
California Constitution, the following shall apply:
Submission of Protests
1. Any property owner or utility customer may submit a written protest to
the City Clerk, either by delivery to the office of the City Clerk or by
submitting the protest at the public hearing. Protests must be received by
the end of the public hearing. No postmarks will be accepted.
2. Each protest must identify the affected property (by assessor’s parcel
number or street address) and include the signature of the record property
owner or utility customer. Email protests cannot be accepted. Although oral
comments at the public hearing will not qualify as a formal protest unless
accompanied by a written protest, the City Council welcomes input from the
community during the public hearing on the proposed fees.
3. If a parcel served by the City is owned by more than a single record
owner or more than one name appears on the City’s records as the customer
for the property, or the customer is not the record owner, each owner or
customer may submit a protest, but only one protest will be counted per
parcel and any one protest submitted in accordance with these rules will be
sufficient to count as a protest for that property.
4. In order to be valid a protest must bear the original signature of the
record owner or customer of record with respect to the property identified
on the protest. Protests not bearing the original signature of a record
owner or customer shall not be counted.
5. If more than one type of fee (ie water, wastewater) is proposed for
increase on the notice of public hearing, then a person submitting a protest
may indicate whether the protest is submitted with respect to all fees
proposed for increase or only some of the fees proposed for increase.
6. Any person who submits a protest may withdraw it by submitting to the
City Clerk a written request that the protest be withdrawn. The withdrawal
of a protest shall contain sufficient information to identify the affected
parcel and the name of the record owner or record customer who submitted
both the protest and the request that it be withdrawn.
7. A fee protest proceeding is not an election.
8. To ensure transparency and accountability in the fee protest tabulation,
protests shall constitute disclosable public records from and after the time
they are received.
Tabulation of Protests
1. The City Clerk shall determine the validity of all protests. The City
Clerk shall not accept as valid any protest if the City Clerk determines
that any of the following conditions exist:
a. The protest does not identify a property served with wastewater (sewer)
and/or water service by the City.
b. The protest does not bear an original signature of a record owner of the
parcel identified on the protest or a record customer with respect to the
parcel identified on the protest.
c. The protest does not state its opposition to the proposed fees.
d. The protest was not received by the City Clerk before the close of the
public hearing on the proposed fees.
e. A request to withdraw the protest is received prior to the close of the
public hearing on the proposed fees.
2. If a protest does not state that it is limited to a specific fee, then
the City Clerk shall consider it to be a protest with respect to all fee
increases set forth on the notice of public hearing.
3. The City Clerk’s decision that a protest is not valid or does not apply
to a specific fee shall constitute a final action of the City and shall not
be subject to any internal appeal.
4. A majority protest exists (50% plus one) if written protests are timely
submitted and not withdrawn by the record owners of, or customers with
respect to, a majority of the properties subject to the proposed fee.
5. At the conclusion of the public hearing, the City Clerk shall complete
the tabulation of all protests received, including those received during the
public hearing and shall report the results of the tabulation to the City
Council upon completion. If review of the protests received demonstrates
that the number received is manifestly less than one-half of the parcels
served by the City with respect to the fee which is the subject of the
protest, then the Clerk may advise the City Council of the absence of a
majority protest without determining the validity of all protests.