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home : stillwater journal : opinions/letters to the editor April 16, 2014

8/22/2013 10:41:00 AM
Letters To The Editor

Excessive Rates

In reply to the mayor's comment, "What Excesses in Municipal Government?" last week we discussed the excessive number of city employees.

I didn't even mention the excessive support required for those employees or their benefits.

Now, let's talk about the excessive funds generated by dramatically inflated utility rates. The new budget for FY-2014 shows that revenue from the utilities will be in the range of $75 million dollars.

$18 Million of that money will be "required" by the city to meet its fi nancial requirements to its extra employees and their support. That said, it comes to 31.6% of your utility rates are provided back to the city as "excess funds."

Now most people know the public utilities are there to serve the public and were not created to generate excess funds (profit) for the support of excesses in city government.

The laws governing public trusts insure that the public is served properly and that the government is not serving itself with excessive rates. But government only enforces those laws that it wants to enforce.

It seems there is no state enforced legal limit to what the municipality can charge in excessive utility rates.

They regularly increase these rates every six months in Stillwater and they have for several years. Does anyone care?

For the low information voter it is easy to overlook this profit indiscretion as long as one doesn't think about it. Let me see, if those excess funds do not serve the public, who do they serve?

OH! That 31.6% of everyone's utility payments serve the city government excesses at our expense. The real question is, does the city council serve the public interest or do they serve themselves, their circle of friends and their governmental empire?

Dennis Gronquist


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