Charter Water Language

Water Language
 
The current charter includes a section detailing the city’s authority to provide water to the citizens of Ashland and prohibit the sale of water as a wholesale commodity.
 
The Charter Review Committee initially did not feel that this language needed to be included in the revised charter, however after citizens raised the issue, the committee asked the City Attorney to draft alternative water language for consideration and inclusion into the revised charter. The Charter Review Committee did not include a recommendation for water language in their final report.
 
Submitted by City Attorney Mike Franell at the request of the Charter Review Committee. June 29, 2005
 
Article XVI, Section 1
 
Existing Language
Section 1. Public Utilities - Water Works The City of Ashland, a municipal corporation, shall have the power to provide the residents of said City with such services as water, sewer, electric power, public transportation and such other public utilities as the people desire by majority vote; and to exact and collect compensation from the users of such public utility; provided, however, that any and all water and water works and water rights now owned or which may hereafter be acquired by said City, for the purpose of supplying the inhabitants thereof with water shall never be rented, sold or otherwise disposed of; nor shall the City ever grant any franchise to any person or corporation for the purpose of supplying the inhabitants of said City with water.
 
Alternative #1
Section 1. Public Utilities - Water Works The City of Ashland, a municipal corporation, shall have the power to provide the residents of said City with such services as water, sewer, electric power, public transportation and such other public utilities as the people desire by majority vote; and to exact and collect compensation from the users of such public utility; provided, however, that any and all water, water works and water rights now owned or which may hereafter be acquired by said City for the purpose of supplying with water, the inhabitants thereof, or any business or corporation located within the City for their business purposes which shall not include the resale of water as a principal commodity, shall be never rented, sold or otherwise disposed of; nor shall the City ever grant any franchise to any person or corporation for the purpose of selling water as a principal commodity or for the purpose of supplying the inhabitants or businesses of said City with water.
 
Alternative #2
Section 1. Public Utilities - Water Works The City of Ashland, a municipal corporation, shall have the power to provide the residents of said City with such services as water, sewer, electric power, public transportation and such other public utilities as the people desire by majority vote; and to exact and collect compensation from the users of such public utility; provided, however, that any and all water works and water rights now owned or which may hereafter be acquired by said City for the purpose of supplying the inhabitants thereof with water shall be never rented, sold or otherwise disposed of; nor shall the City ever grant any franchise to any person or corporation for the purpose of supplying the inhabitants of said City with water.
 
Alternative language by resident Art Bullock as posted on www.ashlandconstitution.com
 
3. Protecting The Commons. We The People recognize that the commons are a public interest and must be protected to advance the common good. These commons include all parks and other land owned by the City, community meeting places and buildings and other real improvements, safe streets, public walkways and bike paths, water and air, forests and trees, solar and wind energy, natural resources on and under the land surface, and documents and information under City's ownership or control.
 
(a) City shall act to protect and enhance the commons, and prevent the destruction, degradation, or devaluation of the commons.
 
(b) City shall not transfer full or partial ownership or control of any commons without a majority vote of the electorate.
 
(c) Any and all water, water rights, and water works now owned or hereafter acquired by City shall never be rented, sold, or otherwise disposed of. City shall not grant any franchise or power to any person or corporation for the purpose of providing water, water treatment, or water services to Ashland inhabitants or others.
 
(d) Council by majority vote shall be empowered to stop, restrain, and prohibit any obstruction, pollution, diversion, waste, or extravagant use of the waters of any creek or waterway flowing through Ashland, within or above City limits, or within the watershed above the City.
 

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