The Monterey Peninsula Water Management District held a public hearing yesterday to discuss a proposed water fee increase. Many community members were upset about the proposed increase that would affect most California American Water customers. State regulations require that 15,255 signatures declaring opposition to the proposal would be needed to prevent it, and with the addition of nearly 12,000 brought to the meeting last night, that number is moving close to the region. Water district officials expect it will take a few days to tally the final number of votes. If the proposal goes through, Cal-Am customers could face an 8% increase in water rates.