Riverbank council delays sewer vote

Riverbank officials have postponed voting on whether to raise monthly sewer bills by about $6 over three years.

The City Council was expected to vote on the rate increase Monday but rescheduled the vote to April 22 because Councilman Dave White was not at the meeting.

Four of the five council members have to approve a sewer rate increase.

Mayor Virginia Madueño, Vice Mayor Sandra Benitez and Councilman Danny Fielder support the increase. But Jesse James White — Dave White's grandson and fellow council member — does not, making Dave White the deciding vote.

City Manager Rich Holmer said White called earlier Monday saying he could not make the meeting because he had to prepare for a medical test.

Dave White also missed the March 8 meeting in which the council had planned to vote on the sewer rates because he was on vacation. Madueño rebuked White for missing the past two meetings.

Riverbank officials have tried for more than a year to increase sewer rates, which they say is needed to pay for upgrades and repairs.

Also on Monday, Madueño and Jesse James White sparred briefly over his missing a March 18 meeting at the county's Ray Simon Training Center in which he was to represent the city in disaster planning efforts.

She said he missed the 1:30 p.m. meeting but participated in a 6 p.m. Republican candidates' forum for a state Assembly seat. Madueño attended the disaster planning meeting in White's place.

— Kevin Valine