Two things29 June 2011
First, it appears that summer has arrived. This morning was the last one with a crossing guard outside my building. The school year is over, so he won't be back until the fall. No more whistle sounds every few minutes as the traffic light changes.
Second, assuming cities are not doing any tricky accounting water and utility rates are not taxes. News reports should stop portraying them as such (unless they are going to general revenue, in which case the news should focus on that). As a (municipal) taxpayer will pay by rates or by taxes for the service you are being provided. Shouldn't you only have to pay for the amount you use? If you want the underlying distribution system and treatment to be maintained, then you have to pay the full cost of production and distribution.
Extra third thing related to the second. Stormwater rates should be calculated based on land area rather than water/sewer use. There should be no relation between how much potable water you use and how much stormwater your property causes. Areal rates for stormwater, adjusted for land cover and runoff mitigation, ensure that those producing the most storm runoff are charged accordingly.