LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Support redevelopment and do not increase water and sewer fees
The city of South Lake Tahoe deserves support for well-conceived redevelopment plans and the STPUD district Board must support sustainable growth and reasonable redevelopment planning. Support must include a willingness to give up STPUD property tax revenues for the good of the entire community. There are many ways for STPUD to save operating costs.
Raising water and sewer user fees every year is ill advised. What has the district done to reduce costs? Many district customers are unemployed or their wages, salaries and benefits have been substantially reduced. Retirement income and investment account values have dropped substantially. Private and public employees have been severely impacted by the economic downturn. Many public employees have been furloughed, laid off, or have suffered steep salary and benefit reductions. Private industries have been forced to reduce staff, cut wages and benefits, and many companies face bankruptcy.
What has the district done to reduce operation, maintenance and personnel costs? Even though the district receives revenues through fees, there needs to be a culture within the district of cost savings. Your customers are seeing their incomes, savings, and property values decrease, while you are increasing rates year after year for life necessities (water and sewage disposal). Shame on you!
The STPUD Board is primarily responsible to its customers. Water and sewer rates must not be increased. The district must cut costs. If you believe that no director or employee of the district should be impacted by the economic downturn, you need an attitude adjustment. The utility district is a monopoly and board members are elected to represent the best interests of the citizens and businesses that pay water and sewer fees. Raising customer rates for basic services while people sacrifice their financial well being to pay for annual increases in water and sewer fees is not in the best interests of the citizenry you represent.
John G M Gonzales
South Lake Tahoe
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