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April 18, 2006

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Still wondering??

I have heard all this before but the fact remains, my bill has increased by at least ten percent on a month to month basis.

My meter is wireless (they drive down the street to read the meter rather having to come in) so I don't understand how the reading is more accurate than it has been in the past?

FRANEY

Is it true that certain people, very prominent people were not charged for years?? Was this the work of the past & past administrations? Or was this the work of people in the water department that did favors for people? I have a lot of questions and I am very angry.

explain the  Issue

Yes, there is a problem here. while I will agree that it will take patients and public cooperation the only way to get that is to explain the real issue, Explain the $11,000 dollar bill then, don't wrtite a letter to instead refute some little fact about the MWRA and shift blame to the shool newspapaer. The list of obvious reasons why the bill might be higher and the phone number is helpfull. But what we really need is an Administration that takes responsibility. And we will continue to ask questions until we get it!

Keep hiding you little rats, see where it is going to get you.

Waterboy

So it was the need to catch up with erronious bills then, is that what you're saying?? OK that explains the really BIG bills that some people are getting but then the next bills should only be 10% or so higher if its 2.8% plus the "other factors at work as well" rather than the 50-100 % amounts over that some people are reporting. I averaged the usage out by the number of days since the last bill was for a longer time and its still a lot higher and I know I wasn't using that much. We have one less dependent in the house which means we should actually be using a little less and the bill its still higher.
I dont want to think the worst but it seems to me that thers nobody to account to as to why the bills are so out of wack. Or am I alone with this problem and everyone else is happy with the explanation.

Ron Newman

Why is it so much harder to correctly meter and bill for water, than it is for gas and electricity?

water123

We need a prop 2 1/2 for water rates! Also, is it possible that rate increase was simply a revenue generator? One town in Metro West (Wayland, Sudbury?)Were caught moving funds from the water collection to the general tax fund. The town is being sued by the residents.

Because...

Probably because there is virtually no oversight of the Municiap water depts. and/or the MWRA which holds their rate increases up to public scrutiny, and doing so would be like touching the third rail.

When's the last time you saw the AG's office investigating allegations of impropriety or malfeasance at any municipal water dept.? The only one I can think of was in, I believe, Dracut and that was a while back.

Mass Water Resources is a runaway juggernaut authority that should be privatized, and the sooner the better. Then the state regulatory authorities will be on them like stink on you-know-what every time they even hint at a rate increase. Look at how the AG gets right on camera every time Keyspan or N-Star says they have to raise rates, launching an investigation and so on. Have you ever seen the Deer Island WTP? It's a case study in how to spend as much money as possible. Just the guard house alone is more palatial than most homes in Winchester I've seen.

No alderman will even touch the water dept. as far as inquiries into rate discrepencies since it brings in money for the city. You saw how they handled the hot potato recently tossed to them regarding alleged ethics breeches at DPW. That should tell you enough. The water dept. will engage in subterfuge and sleight of hand as long as they can and each succeeding administration willblame it on the last one. Why? Because it's city government, and you can't fight city hall!

Iam looking

I am looking at the budget and it looks like Somerville collects 17,000 in library fines, and 40,000 in ordinance violations?
If this is right you better start fining businesse and lay off of our kids at the library. Some of these businesses really suck. some are great too. But some are terrible My wife and I got into a somerville cab to go to the airpport and that cab had an engine light on and it then broke down half way there. We had to flag down another one. I like to keep my money in the town I live in but ever since that happened I only call for a cambrdige cab. Oh yea, to top it off they showed up 45 minutes late.. Who is in charge of fining these self serving, rat generating , buisnesses?

Here is the budget: http://www.ci.somerville.ma.us/CoS_Content/documents/FY06%20Final%20Budget%20Approved.pdf

Praying for rain

I agree. The MWRA assessment rose 2.8%.
How much did the city raise OUR costs.
This city is like Pinochio. 1st. My bill tripled because of Snow Banks blocking the Meter reader. 2nd. It got higher because a meter reader retired. 3rd. It really jumped
because the damsel from Newton who Joseph C.
brought in here was inept.
4th. I really believe that you must raise costs if you hire new help, waste 10 million
dollars from the lottery, buy new transportation for you must have it.
FINALLY: Why are our water bills higher than those other cities listed on the MWRA site?

Martin

In other words because of the mistakes of the city, people have to pay huge bills in one lump sum. Not everyone can fork out this cash...I think apologies are in order...

Never mind apologies

How about we forget the apologies and simply get rid of the ridiculous FOURTEEN PERCENT INTEREST the city whacks us with if we're late! Most people are just coming off a record expensive heating season, and now we get these ridiculous water bills. I know its tax return time and all, but let's be reasonable here!

Enough is enough

I've had it with these guys! The administration sends out crazy water bills for what seems like the umpteenth time and they blame the newspaper!!?? The problem is if we throw these bums out, more bums will replace them...at the very least we need bums who won't rob us with inflated utility bills! Nice letter Champion, but concentrate on the problems of the administration not the News.

Brittain33

In my experience, the library regularly forgives fines for overdue books. I've come in with my dollar bill in hand and they turned me away--probably out of gratitude for bringing the book back at all.

$17,000 is 25 cents per year for every man, woman, and child in the city. If only 5% of the people ever run up a library fine that's $5 in a single year. No big deal.

Tired of Breaking my Back

Let me quote you something:

When political interests shower Washington with millions in campaign contributions, they often get what they want. But it's ordinary citizens and firms that pay the price and most of them never see it coming. This is what happens if you don't contribute to their campaigns or spend generously on lobbying. You pick up a disproportionate share of America's tax bill. You pay higher prices for a broad range of products from peanuts to prescriptions. You pay taxes that others in a similar situation have been excused from paying. You're compelled to abide by laws while others are granted immunity from them. You must pay debts that you incur while others do not. You're barred from writing off your tax returns some of the money spent on necessities while others deduct the cost of their entertainment. You must run your business by one set of rules, while the government creates another set for your competitors. In contrast the fortunate few who contribute to the right politicians and hire the right lobbyists enjoy all the benefits of their special status. Make a bad business deal; the government bails them out. If they want to hire workers at below market wages, the government provides the means to do so. If they want more time to pay their debts, the government gives them an extension. If they want immunity from certain laws, the government gives it. If they want to ignore rules their competition must comply with, the government gives its approval. If they want to kill legislation that is intended for the public, it gets killed.

Once again I'm not quoting Marx or Lenin or even The Nation, the American Prospect, the Washington Monthly, In These Times, The Progressive, or Mother Jones.

I'm quoting from...Time . From the heart of the Time-Warner empire comes the judgment that America now has "government for the few at the expense of the many."

Jimmy D.

The Mayor's First Liar of Defense, Tom "the rookie" Champion, stated that "correcting the longstanding backlog will take time, patience and public cooperation." What he forgot to mention was money. It will take plenty of extra money that isn't being stripped from us via higher taxes, parking meter increases, higher cost of fees,and higher parking violation costs. All the while, money is being stripped from public safety as our police and fire professionals make due with less and less personnel.
This translates into a less safe community. There is plenty of money to be found when the Mayor needs to hire a Roche or a Koty and, unfortunately, it's coming from us at every turn. There IS NO NEED to charge people what they did for water. To put it in perspective, I paid more for water last quarter than I did for gas. In his own way, Joe is running his own little OPEC and screwing us all in the same manner.
Do us a favor Tom: Don't urinate on our backs and tell us its raining. You'll probably charge us an exorbitant rate for that liquid as well. They say good things happen to those who wait, so I'm patiently waiting for the next election to make up for the mistake I made three years ago... voting for Joe.

P.S.- Don't forget what happend to your predecessor Horan. That's one of the best kept secrets in town. They moved him out of his office during lunch. Don't choke on your sandwich wondering if your stuff will still be there when you come back from lunch.

Mrs. McCarthy

Jimmy D.,

Well said my boy, well said. Do you think some of these people who work for this Administration(or any administration for that matter) really believe what they say(or should I say what they are told to say) since the only motivation for those who do not live in out city is their paycheck and or some future employment?

It never ceases to amaze me that the ones who don't live here, don't pay taxes here, don't pay the water bills here, and are the first to get a parking ticket fixed, sorry "forgiven", are some of the most fierce defenders of every move the City makes even when proven stupid, unethical, and sometimes downright illegal.

I guess I'm just old fashioned. I thought self respect was an important part of public service.


Hoping for Change,

Mrs. McCarthy
Mayor Candidate - 2007

Sox Fan

What a wonderful game last evening at chilly Cleveland Stadium. While the cameras were scanning the stands last night who popped up on their radar screens but none other than the "Skipper" and his first mate.

Nice to travel to Cleveland during the week to see the Sox play outside of Fenway isn't it? Seems the "Skipper" must be a TRUE fan of the colored foot garments. I bet those hot dogs and beers are right up there in their taste.

Sure looking forward to seeing the couple again later this evening at the second of three games being battled in Ohio. It appears the "Skipper" and his first mate did not come equipped with the proper attire to deal with the chilly weather. Maybe tonight they will have their blankets with them...

a small landlord

ya this thread is old and all BUT condo buildings and larger buildings pay a higher price based on gallons used. Block Rate Billing system unfairly charges more per gallon used without factoring in the amount of units within a building. Newton has eliminated it due to condo owner uniting and exposing it. Its time for everyone to pay the same rate. Look in the upper right hand column to see how the rate adjusts up. Maybe condo owners never see this bill...

Is there anyone in city hall that would be capable of addressing this situation???

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