Thursday, October 15, 2009

LET'S PLAY CATCH UP

So much has been going on the last few days I am a bit behind so let's get right to it.


TERM LIMITS:


Much is being made about possible term limits thanks to a CJ story Metro council to debate limiting mayoral terms courier-journal.com The Courier-Journal. What makes this so interesting is that this is not a new or fresh idea but one that is finally coming to light because the media finally brought it up.


The shame of it is that the CJ brought it up with their own slant. Brent Ackerson, a DEMOCRAT Metro Council member has brought up the possibility of changing the law to hold an elected Mayor to a 2 term limit. Unfortunately the CJ chose to make this an attack on the Republican Party instead of allowing an open honest discussion of what this could mean.


For those who do not know currently the elected Mayor of Louisville is subject to a 3 term limit (12 years) and the goal is to get that down to a 2 term limit (8 years). Seems simple enough doesn't it?


To accomplish this would require a ballot initiative for we the voter to decide. The earliest option available for putting it on the ballot is next year. Personally I believe it is a worthy goal and while we are at it we should make it a 2 term limit for Metro Council members as well. Term limits have been a part of my platform for years and I support it fully.


WATER COMPANY WANTS RATE INCREASE (AGAIN):


Here we go again. It seems the Louisville Water Company is planning on raising our water rates between 4.5% and 5.5% on January 1. Once again we must ask why? Water rate increase on tap courier-journal.com The Courier-Journal

The claim is that they need to raise rates to help pay for improvements to its aging system and to meet expected tougher drinking water standards. By all accounts, and my personal experience drinking water from other states and communities across the Country, Louisville has one of the best drinking waters in the Country.

So what gives with the excuses?

Many in the community, including myself, think the Water Company is essentially used in many ways as a form of "illegal" taxation. The Board is appointed by none other than, you guessed it, Jerry Abramson, and they can raise rates each year with no approval by anyone.

The sole stockholder for Louisville Water Company is the City of Louisville. This begs one simple question:

Should Government be in a for profit business for their own gain?

Essentially that is what we have here. A government owned business in a for profit category. This surely defeats the free enterprise system of government does it not?

The city owns 100 percent of the stock in the company and gets an annual dividend. Certainly this should raise a red flag about Government being in the for profit business.

The new budget includes a $17.7 million dividend to metro government, paid quarterly. That compares with a $17 million dividend expected to be paid this year. We also have literally no oversight of the Water Company's business.

How is this possible?

Is the reason for yet another increase to the citizens of our community because of the need for cash once again for the City? While Abramson and his machine cannot sell a new tax on us this is certainly one way to gain money for the City is it not?

Abramson is now FINALLY settling with the firefighters for approximately $45 million, a figure that would have been much lower had he done his job and honored our commitment to them years ago, while at the same time he is seeking $17 million in new funds through bonds.

A rate increase gives the City of Louisville an extra profit of $700,000 per year. Of course that number raises next year when they increase the costs yet again. Combined with the MSD fees and their continual rate increases one has to wonder.

The water company charges for water coming into a home, including tap water used for drinking, bathing and washing clothes and cars. MSD charges for treating water that goes down the drain.

The Louisville Metro Council members have no opportunity to vote on water rates.

Is it time for the Metro Council to have oversight and control over the Louisville Water Company and MSD?

I believe so.

Your thoughts?

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Ed Springston

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