Today news just broke that our water department wants to raise rates 51% over a four year period. This is on top of a recently passed sanitary increase and plans to hit us with a separate storm water fee. When will it end?
Right now there is a big issue going on in Ohio regarding public unions. Don’t get me wrong, I am not against unions but for some families and senior citizens it can be tough making ends meet. It was reported just a couple days ago that the City of Toledo, which saw its tax receipts down 13%, had to pay for 1% salary increases for garbage disposal workers. Toledo also lost an arbitrators ruling with the Police Department which will cost the city (taxpayers) up to $500,000. Regardless of where you stand on unions, most will agree that taxpayers simply can’t afford these expenses when many have accepted pay cuts, less hours or have been let go.
The Water Department that serves our city has been struggling with a loss in customers, but yet their infrastructure maintenance needs have not changed. I can understand this, but why is it that the first place all government entities go to when they need money is the taxpayer? Should they not look at their own labor costs first before asking us to foot the entire bill?
These recent water related fees, which are significant, are coming off the heals of a Public Utility Commission’s authorization to bill us $1.50 a month for an energy conservation program. This program will give everyone in the service area 6 energy efficient bulbs. My house already has these! Even if I decline the bulbs, which come to $9 a piece for the life of this program (assuming its not renewed), I still have to pay.
Those that are against taking away union rights need to realize that it is union operations that are slapping these added fees on us. If unions want our support, they truly need to get more active in issues which are impacting the middle class – whether those in the middle class are in unions or not. Because all these fees add up and will be a heavy burden for many already struggling to get by.