Does this sound familiar? A utility company has ill performed its duties to the public for 11 years. A governmental office that is supposed to protect consumers and provide oversight of the utility has protected the company from competition by allowing them to function with no competition.
Furthermore, during the course of business, the company has allegedly engaged in numerous questionable practices and actions. The company deliberately allows the assets of the business to deteriorate in order to maximize profitability. The financial data that they occasionally provide is obviously inaccurate and inconsistent. There is suspected collusion between the company and various individuals in the community who are supposed to represent the financial interests of the community. Decisions are made and agreements drawn that would substantially benefit the company and harm the community.
But wait! There’s more. The company and its representatives in the community then decide to draft an agreement to drill a well. However, the president of the utility company has stated that drilling the well would be a risky investment “that he would not make.” So, again, the company that would take $300,000 of taxpayer monies drill a questionable well and then charge the customers who paid for it, would sell the water to their sister company for profit.
The community decides that it has had enough of this. They form a citizens action group and decide to fight back. They elect a new, accountable and responsive board to represent them. The situation is then taken to the governmental oversight office for its intervention. This government office has not been able to make a decision and continues to allow the utility to take advantage of its customers, and may even award the “bail-out” to this company thereby wasting even more taxpayer dollars.
In two recent elections, the voters of Pine and Strawberry have spoken loudly that they are tired of Brooke Utilities and their spokesmen who just want to keep “status quo.” The community wants to move forward, be unburdened from unnecessary trucking fees and use our dollars to obtain existing water, not drill another dry hole and not bail-out an inefficient utility.
J. Mike Taylor