Letters to the Editor

Palmetto's utility rates soaring, but residents' incomes are not

We've been making a concerted effort to conserve water, yet our City of Palmetto water bill remains consistently higher than last year. We wondered why.

Then we took a closer look at this month's bill, which at the bottom states "effective October 1, 2014, the rates for Water, Sewer, and Refuse are scheduled to increase by 15%, 15% and 33%"!

When I called the company for an explanation, I was informed that the mayor of Palmetto and city commissioners all voted in these outrageous increases because they claim our rates weren't "comparable to those of other southern districts."

So, in other words, "our representatives" have voted in favor of "big business" rather than in the interests of their constituents.

Our incomes have not increased by such percentages, yet when I asked about last November's rate, they rather sheepishly admitted to a similar increase of 15 percent (explaining why our conserving water does not conserve money)!

The utility website projects the next three years' increases to be a more reasonable 4 percent (although still higher than most income increases), yet somehow they've managed to pull off 15 percent two years in a row (if we don't stop it), not to mention the beyond doubling to 33 percent!

Do they work for the utility companies or do they work for us? I suggest we contact the mayor and commissioners to request a reversal of "Utility Ordinance 2013-2014" before the increases take effect next month. Let them know we're paying attention.

That we have the power on Nov. 4th to keep them in office or vote out City of Palmetto Mayor Shirley Groover Bryant, and Commissioners Jonathan Davis, Tamara Cornwell, Charles Smith, Tambra Varnadore and Brian Williams--all of whom voted for these increases, and none of whom deny doing so, or even bothered to answer my calls and e-mails.

Evelyn Sheppard-Carter