LIVINGSTON -- City officials think they hold a stronger position in a water rate lawsuit brought last year by Foster Farms after receiving support from some big-name organizations.
The League of California Cities, California State Association of Counties and Association of California Water Agencies' support of Livingston was disclosed during a City Council meeting last week.
The league is made up of 480 cities, the CSAC includes 58 counties and the ACWA has 450 members. The organizations feature litigation committees that look into various issues -- in this case, a lawsuit filed by Foster Farms on July 14, 2009, claiming Livingston illegally raised sewer and water rates.
A trial judge initially ruled in favor of Foster Farms, and the city appealed.
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The stance of the organizations shows that Livingston has acted legally and properly about the water and wastewater rates, said City Manager Richard Warne.
The LOCC, CSAC and ACWA have announced their intent to support Livingston by filing a brief with the appellate court in support of the city, he said.
However, Randy Boyce, sen- ior vice president and general counsel for Foster Farms, said he hasn't seen anything filed with the appeals court from any of the organizations. "If they say they support the city acting illegally and unconstitutionally, that would surprise me," he said.
The LOCC, CSAC and ACWA are invested in the appeal because it could set a precedent for future cases, affecting them down the road, Livingston City Attorney Jon Hobbs said.