The nearly 30 people who testified Tuesday before the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors against a proposed new stormwater fee arrived home later in the day to find an unpleasant surprise: A fold-out mailer promoting the countywide fee election that had been approved just a few hours earlier.
Critics immediately called the public hearing on the Contra Costa Community Clean Water Initiative a sham and started phoning supervisors’ offices.
It looks bad. The mailers were clearly prepared and mailed before the supervisors voted on whether to proceed with the election.
But the county says an outside consulting firm mistakenly and prematurely sent out the mailers during a staff changeover.
Supervisors and County Administrator David Twa are very displeased with SCI Consulting Group, which has a $1.1 million contract to help the county and its 19 cities put together the stormwater fee election.
“We did convey to (SCI) that this did a great deal of harm to the entire process and only adds to the belief that government fails to provide meaningful opportunities for the public to be heard,” Twa told me in an email.
See the mailer below.