Water rate hike would hurt many

EDITOR:

I’ve been following the debate about proposed water rate increase for Escanaba. Make no mistake, this will hurt many who are low to moderate income individuals and families. Also, there was a comment made by some of the city officials indicating that there is assistance available to low income people to help with utility bills. Obviously they don’t understand how these programs work, as the state-funded assistance programs do not cover water bills — they cover electric and heat only. They also have strict eligibility rules and thus many who would struggle with rate increases would not be eligible for help. I would ask the city officials to please stop assuming that this increase is not a big deal to a large portion of the population in this city. I would also suggest that there are other ways to address the water department budget — such as stop adding fluoride to the water supply. The most recent science on this shows it does nothing to help dental health and in fact is harmful in a variety of ways. Antiquated science and the process by which this was done initially are supposedly reasons why this use of fluoride must continue. So, basically we are left with “we must continue to poison the population” and “we must raise the rates to fix the lead pipes.” How about leaving that up to each home owner? How about other cost-saving measures be taken by the city first? This tendency to go after tax money as the solution to problems does not sit well with me. Our money does not belong to the government at any level and assuming otherwise is not good representation of what the taxpaying citizens want. Taxation without representation. Sound familiar? If I need to tighten my belt yet again in order to pay my bills, I certainly expect to see the same on the part of local governments. Show the citizens the effort to do so and we might be more open to doing what truly needs to be done.

Would any of the paid officials be willing to take a 45 percent pay cut? The answer to that question is my answer to those same officials wanting me to swallow a 45 percent rate increase.

Lisa Temple

Escanaba