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City should share burden of the cleanup expenses

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Posted: Tuesday, August 30, 2005 10:00 pm

Mr. Hansen's letter explaining our water/sewer predicament was an interesting exercise in displacing the finger of blame and dumb decisions of the City Council to a spiritual call of fixing the problem by "allowing" the taxpayer to pick up the tab.

He says it "will be painful" for ratepayers, and so should it be for government.

The $40 million it takes to clean up the "plume" will not be enough in years coming, and the problem needs to be fixed now. Maybe Lodi needs an independent "consultant" to protect us from our elected and appointed management employees.

One solution for painful strategies is to cut city services. A percentage of each department thrown into the money pot would insure that everybody is paying a price for mistakes.

City transportation, fire and police, streets, Electric Utility, major fun big boys and little boy recreation centers, soccer fields, swimming pools, and "feel good" projects need to share in the pain.

Reduce the number of people who freeload in city subsidies, our health system and handouts.

Choose a fair and equitable system of assessing water usage, not the silly number of bedrooms system.

Reduce the fire and police competition with larger cities in requiring semi-trailer communications centers, armored cars, black mariahs and 80-foot ladder trucks.


You bet.

Assess the absentee landlord-speculators, who own 50 percent of Lodi's housing market, a fee. Cancel preferential tax giveaways. Restrict interest groups, including churches and liberal organizations who import immigrants, train them in free services, and then dump them on the taxpayer.

Enough of this?

Soon you will learn about the rate increases that will be imposed on your Electric Utility bill. Another fine mess.

It's difficult to right a wrong. Let's forget about it. Let's forgive. The bills will come every month, higher and higher. City government will change seats, creditable apologies and explanations given, and the hole will get deeper.

Roger Frank




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