Last week our news department pulled the curtain on the latest city hall mess. After a few calls from concerned viewers, we suspected some citizens were being overbilled for water usage in March. It turns out that's exactly what was happening. In response, City Council had a special meeting to delay the increase and rebate those who had been charged in March at the higher April rate.
So what happened? Two things. First, city staff failed to let the citizens know the whole story and city council failed to read the ordinance that they voted on. The result was angry citizens whose trust has been violated once again.
Consider this, as taxpayers, we pay city management salaries and they are paid well. What if every time they made a mistake that cost the citizens their hard earned money, city staff just didn't get their paychecks? I bet things would be communicated a little more clearly and less "mistakes" would be made. It's time they look at it that way.
Water bills are a big deal to citizens. That's why it takes a new city ordinance to get these increases. I bet if city council lost a vote for every citizen that was overbilled, they'd look harder at the ordinance next time.
We knew the increase was coming, but charging us early, especially without telling us, to me, is just plain wrong; and both city staff and elected council bear the blame. Personally I would like to thank our news department for breaking this story and helping you get some of your hard earned money back.
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