Water bill out of control

Jul 2, 2013


My topic this week is about the city’s lack of communication with the public.

Public concern has been growing as to how the city is treating the crisis concerning the trailer park residents. Several weeks later and many stories in the paper, the city finally decided to break silence and brief the public.

The city claims they didn’t cause the problem, but the city sure compounded the problem by allowing the water bill debt to go on for five years and ignoring the many red flags such as bankruptcy and failure to pay property taxes on the part of the owner. The excuse of why the city allowed the water debt to accumulate was that it was a humanitarian situation. Where is that same concern now that the tenants only have three months to move?
It is simply unbelievable allowing the water bill debt to roll over constantly to the property taxes that have been delinquent for years and the owner is in bankruptcy.

The trailer park situation is soon to get out of control as the August deadline approaches. People are starting to dismantle and abandon their trailers leaving the city with a big eye sore at one of the main thoroughfares coming into town. One of the commissioners already stated that the city will have the obligation of clearing the land, which should be no surprise to the taxpayer. I certainly hope the city addresses the situation sooner rather than later and not allow the stripped trailers to exist for any length of time.

The city claims that code enforcement does not have jurisdiction over the trailer parks because of the change in state law, so how was the public to know this information since it wasn’t discussed at the commission table until just recently. Another agency should never have total control over the city’s right to inspect for code enforcement at any trailer park.

Once the bypass is finished, I expect the land around the area will become valuable and ripe for development; there could already be a developer just waiting to grab up the land. Could the city be positioning itself? Either the land will be auctioned off or it will fall into the land bank and the taxes will be forgiven. There is another piece of property across the street which has already been sold off. Could there be more going on then the city is willing to share with us?

Until next week, the public cannot begin to understand what the city is doing to solve a crisis if it doesn’t share information. It is not good management to wait until things are out of control before trying to explain the matter to the public. Why should the public stay informed? The taxpayer is head of the organization chart something I think the city fails to understand. The city should not keep us out of the loop when tax dollars have to be spent trying to remedy the crisis.


J Cooper

Sharon; my questions, how often do you attend city commissioner meetings? Why haven't you ran for city commissioner?


@ J Cooper: My Question, is there a prerequisite a person, yourself included, has to run for elected office before he/she can voice concerns about local, state or federal government?

The problem today, locally and nationally, in government is "public apathy". The residents at Hopper Trailer Park should have been knocking down the doors at City Hall years ago about their living conditions (not the water bill issue). Why didn't they--apathy--figuring it wouldn't do any good.



Why are their living conditions City Hall's problem?


From what has been conveyed in the media and by government agencies, the trailer park's owner was negligent in outside upkeep. Occupants paid lot rent which included outside upkeep, trash removal, etc. provided by the park's owner and was not being taken care of.

J Cooper

If you have the alleged knowledge to have your own weekly newspaper blog, why not run for public office and face the heat instead of just commenting on it. If you're not part of the solution you are part of the problem. Its easy to be a Monday morning QB.


Several years back I was working a lot of hours (literally 70+ per week) and didn't pay my water bill for the 3rd month in a row. It was simply because it was "all the way across town" and whenever I would think of it-they would be closed and although a drop box-I just thought-tomorrow. Well, they sure did shut my service off! Humanitarian my keester. They weren't very humanitarian for my $120 debt that was 3 months due-yet they are showing compassion for over 5 years and $50,000 worth of past due debt? NOT BUYING IT. Try again.

My thoughts

Buy some postage stamps.


@PAVED. These are a few prerequisites that I have noticed over the last few years. Own a John Deere lawn mower (get arrested), be on section 8 Metro (have a police record), and be a fired city employee (who left city abruptly). Most of all, have your name in the headlines so much, that the voters have it installed in there minds whebn they cast their uneducated vote.


Or own a restaurant/coffee bar and a hardware business and know nothing about government policies and procedures. It's called election by "popularity contest".

I'd like to know what Smith did for these people besides offering them housing in one of his rentals padding his pocket.


Great article.


Great how? This situation has been extensively reported in the Register. This column added no new information or insights - it just repeated already known information and lamented that it's a shame.

Of course, that describes this column most weeks.


exactly...its a synopsis of others comments and articles. Nothing new

Julie R.

Hey Sharon, believe it or not the major problem isn't with the city --- it's with the rats in the county. So why don't you become the COUNTY watchdog?


Answer the questions, Julie.