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Bay Taxpayer Revolt; FBI Raid Leads to Ballot Measure in Novato

Thousands of petition signatures will be submitted here by voters Thursday to qualify a ballot measure to stop a Bay Area wastewater agency - already under federal investigation - which plans to outsource jobs and local control to a French company with a poor environmental record.

A NEWS CONFERENCE will be held THURSDAY, at 10 a.m. at the main entrance to the Marin County Civic Center (3501 Civic Center Drive).

Thousands of signatures will be physically submitted following the news briefing.

Taxpayer and environmental watchdog groups, and a coalition of local ratepayers have formed a coalition to immediately halt the Novato Sanitary District board's vote to "privatize" the public agency until there is an election.

Ratepayers are upset about recent increases in rates, the loss of local control over their own sanitary district and millions of dollars in hidden costs in the contract to outsource operations.

The Board - already facing criminal investigation by the EPA after a daytime raid by the FBI earlier this year over alleged illegal discharges into the Bay - is being challenged for re-election Nov. 3 in what has become one of the hottest election races in the Bay Area.

The board's unpopular action to give up local control comes after a probe by the FBI and EPA, accusations that NSD dumped millions of gallons of raw sewage in the bay, $500,000 missing from the NSD bank account and the death of a contract worker.

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