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I am not going to say much about this given that all decision regarding exemptions for the West Bench Irrigation District (WBID) were made by the board of the WBID.  The board of the WBID was a democratically-constituted decision-making body.  It had an obligation under the Local Government Act (see here) to:

  1. Constitute a court of revision
  2. Notify all ratepayers of the the date and time of the court of revision
  3. Consider submissions by ratepayers for adjustments to water assessments


As far as we can tell, all this was done by the WBID.  So yes, different property owners paid different amounts because no two properties are the same.  The WBID court of revision made the adjustments it deemed necessary at the time.  Not everyone was happy with these decisions.  To now call them "special discounts" is disingenuous.

My own view is that courts of revision and special exemptions based on land usage are bound to be problematic.  Accordingly, we are moving towards a meter-based system for billing for the new RDOS-administered West Bench water system.   Once the meters are fully operational, residents will pay for what they use. Unlike the WBID (which did not have the benefit of universal water meters) we have no court of revision. 

As I see it, what Dr. Johnson is asking for is a kind of appeals court to revisit decisions of the WBID from years ago.  I have no interest in this.

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