For Immediate Release:

Cherry-picking facts compromises paper’s objectivity” 

I would like to take the time to address the recent Banner Press article, “Marble Hill raises water, sewer rates”, published Wednesday July 15, 2009. 

In it Banner Press editor Linda Redeffer states: 

“The rates have not been doubled as Lacy predicted earlier”.  For starters, I would like to say I was wrong about the sewer rates having already been doubled. I was basing the figure off of the information given to me during the last regular Board of Aldermen meeting.  The information that I received can be read on my Alderman Lacy Blog found at the following web address:  

http://aldermanlacy.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/trash_water_sewer.jpg  

(Just click on the picture to enlarge the photo once it has finished loading). 

The second issue I would like to address is that the Banner Press quoted Mayor Masterson as saying that the city has applied for grant money before. Yet the Banner Press conveniently forgets to mention that when I pressed the Mayor and Assistant Administrator Shrum as to when the last time the City applied for grants for our water and sewer systems, Mr. Shrum said he believed it was three years ago. 

Assistant Administrator Shrum states that residents will only see a $4.83 increase per month in their minimum water and sewer bill. 

 I’m guessing a typical family of four uses about 3000 gallons per month.  Before the rates were raised last year a typical family of four, was paying approximately $31.07 for water, sewer and trash.

After last year’s rate increase a typical family of four was paying approximately $39.47 for trash service + 3000 gallons of water and sewer system use. 

According to my estimates a typical family of four can now look forward to paying $47.20 for water, sewer and trash service. 

Keep in mind that the City of Marble Hill paid for Smith and Company of Cape Girardeau last year to do a study of the City’s water and sewer systems. Smith and Company recommended that the City charge $16.75 for water (up to 2500 gallons) and $18.50 for sewer (up to 2500 gallons) 

I predict that next year the City will propose increasing your water rates by $1.75(per 2500 gallons) and increase the sewer rates by $2.50 cents (per 2500 gallons). Guess what happens if my prediction comes to pass?  The City will be charging exactly what Smith and Company recommended last year, which means that for a family of four, water and sewer rates will close to have doubled. 

I find it a little ironic that the City finds no problem paying for a study to raise your rates, but refuses to pay for a study to estimate the cost of replacing some of the City’s worst water and sewer lines. 

How do you cook a frog?  You turn the heat up a little at a time so the frog doesn’t notice; at least that’s how the old saying goes.  

I may not have been able to postpone these increased rates at this difficult time, for that I apologize.  However; it is my job to try and keep you informed about what is transpiring in your city government so you will notice what is transpiring there. 

By leaving out important information from last night’s meeting, Banner Press editor Linda Redeffer has compromised the paper’s objectivity and {inadvertently?} misinformed Marble Hill’s citizens.

Alderman Clint E. Lacy

Ward I, Marble Hill, Missouri

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3 Responses to “For Immediate Release:”

  1. Rena Says:

    Does the city keep the income from water/sewer in a separate account or does it go into a general account?

    I find it hard to believe that our city has a money problem when they gave raises to city workers. Most people today are happy just to have a job and many are doing without raises. The federal government has even decided that ones on SS/SSI are not getting a raise in Jan. I am almost sure you could have hired many skilled people to be a city admin for less than $39000 but not sure about the other skilled positions but do know that you had many qualified men applied for the 2 openings this summer. I did like to see what we pay the policemen (they needed the raise but some need to work harder on setting good examples for our young people), office personnel, city admin and now would like to know exactly what we pay the maintenance staff.

    I wonder if it is possible to add the minutes of cities meetings to the web site. I notice that they add notes but would be nice to have the city minutes on web site with a way to add comments or suggestions. I do not live in your Ward but do thank you for keeping us updated. I would like for all aldermen to have a email address posted so we could email them with comments, problems, etc. They could set up a special email account for this and wouldn’t have to give out their personal one. I realize there is no pay for an alderman but I think it might be a time saver for you since the people in your Ward can email you with problems and then you can check them out.

  2. Alderman Lacy Says:

    The water and sewer is tract by a different account. That being said yes , it has not been “paying for itself”, however; the City makes up that deficit through other revenue which is used to cover the deficiency in the water and sewer account.

    Which means that in reality… there is no deficiency.

    I will bring the subject of posting minutes on the City website at the next board of aldermen meeting, until then , I will do my best to inform the citizens about what is transpiring in their city government.

    On granting employee raises, I did not know that social security/ ssi recipients did not receive a cost of living raise this year. That being said, I really didn’t want to leave our maintenance personel hanging without some kind of cost of living raise, given the current economic environment it was held to 3%. Their rate of pay is determined by experience some of the new maintenance employees make around $9.00 per hour if memory serves me correctly while a few of the most experienced employees make between $10.00 and $11.00 per hour. I will double check my figures and get back to you on this subject.

    We wanted to give our City police officers a pay rate system based on their rank, while trying to give them an incentive to stay in our little town. I realize that $11.50, 12.50 and 13.50 per hour is not a lot of money given the fact of the risks the job entails, but it really was all we could affort to give them at the present time.

  3. Rena Says:

    Thank you Mr. Lacy. I do appreciate all you do for our city to make it a better place to live. The ones who are receiving SS/SSI will not be receiving raises in Jan 2010 unless the Fed Government changes their mind–they did receive this year.

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