Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Water & Sewer Open Meeting

Several lessons were learned this afternoon, as the public learned to pay closer attention to the Bayview Water & Sewer Board meetings and the board learned some things about accountability.

A mostly hostile crowed of over 30 rate payers packed the audience after the board announced rates were going to double for the next year and beyond. Two problems were evident. One, the sticker shock with the sudden harsh increase, and the casual do what the law requires regarding notification. Chairperson, Chuck Waller seemed to feel all citizens should pour over the legal notices, just in case it affected them. That was an ill advised lack of judgement in my humble opinion.

He constantly referred to state regulations. What he didn't or wouldn't admit is that those state notification rules are for minimum participation, not maximum. Still, as the meeting proceeded, it became clear that the board members were sincere in hearing every one's concerns. The end result is that the board will, in the future do more to publicize important events.

My observations, which aren't necessarily that of others, is that the openness of the board to hear complaints until the crowd had at last, two hours later, wound down. Some showed up with recall on their minds, only to realize that the board made decisions as they were elected to do, and where some would have acted differently, they didn't run for office. It was noted that directors have six year terms, one board member thought is was only three.

Disarmed and satisfied that the electorate had it's voice heard, it is my feel that things will calm down, the board will make sure that not just the bare minimum legal notice is observed, where elections and rate adjustments are discussed, that widespread notification takes place.

What we saw today was democracy in action at the grass roots. It isn't always comfortable, but always necessary.

On an entirely different subject, it seems that a potbellied pig has been hanging around the post office and environs.Word has it that a couple owning a pig as described felt it necessary to flee Bayview in disarray from their home on 5th street recently. It would be a kindness if someone were to capture the pig and call animal control. I'm sure there are several people enamered with potballys that would either adopt the animal or eat it. Either way, it won't survive the cold weather coming.


Anonymous said...

The board was arrogant and the citizens unruly. Didn't any of these college educated leaders of our community take communications courses. When will the movers and shakers of Bayview get over acting like big fish in a little pond. There are many issues we should be addressing that get lost in these rhetorical pissing fights.

The less-than-esteemed local organizations need to realize this is why no one comes to their meetings. It is no fun listening to adults act like bad children.

Now that I have insulted everyone, how about we all get together and have a pig roast?

Anonymous said...

What kind words you may say about the commissioners - unfortunately you missed the point in your article. The commissioners are elected to run a non profit lean operation. It was obvious from the answers and the accounting that they were clueless. Private utilities are governed by PUC of Idaho. Public utilities are taxing agency at the mercy or the capability of the commissioners. Obvious manipulation of the current board by the president to eliminate any check and balance has led to this mismanagement of the sewer district. Remember when Pat Dow passed away, one of their own was selected to replace Pat. Do we currently have proper accounting - no. They can't even respond to basic cost questions - claim they need to check what % raises were given to employees. I looked at the budget for 2010 to 2011 and it showed a 9% increase in employee compensation. In these economic times with high unemployment and budget cut back at all levels of government, this is morally unacceptable. I hope there is no hanky panky going on to keep the president of the chamber on the water district payroll. I say recall 100% board, get new board appointed by the governor and do a full audit. In fact let's push for a private enterprise who is willing to take over the Water and Sewer district and can be governed by the state PUC. I suggest the Bayview Community Council take active participation for the checks and balance of Bayview. Special interest groups are manipulating the Sewer district, the community center and the chamber of commerce.
Bill S

Anonymous said...

What college educated leaders?? These are people past their prime who needs to be put out to the pasture. They are hanging on for glory and control of their past that is ruining this town. They can be better served by being non partisan but chose otherwise. Look at the community center proposals - they chased away any business that came to town and now proposing improvements to the center to draw businesses to rent their facility i.e. be coming a business themself. It sure is funny but those who never ran a business think customers will fall out of the sky and come rent their facility? Guess who is in charge of the Community Center board - Chuck Whaler. The same guy that runs Bayview Water and Sewer District. Trying doubling the rent on the community center and see how much increase in income they see. Maybe if there is a regime change, we can approach the businesses to get involved with the community.

Anonymous said...

The people I applaud who just bought the Boileau's marina should run the water board. If they can work with the community and run a successful merchantile and be able to buy the Boileau's Marina, they can certainly run the Water district. I sure hope he opens up the Patio next year.


Anonymous said...

The real Rose did not write the above comment. She was at work making money.

Rose for real

What a pain.

Bay Views said...

Appparetly the person commenting above was not Rose. At this point, since I believe two different comments were bogus, on this subject, if you don't sign your name, I will not post the comment.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Herb,

I adopted the nickname Rose because I have been accused of wearing rose-colored glasses, which indeed I do own.
Who ever wishes to use my nick name does not have my permission and needs to locate their own, maybe Cobra would be apt??