Voice of the People
Recently, I wrote to the Voice of the People that I was willing to pay
more in order to have clean water. However, Mr. Hiestand has asked,
repeatedly, what I consider to be very sensible questions regarding how Mr.
Julien of H.J. Umbaugh & Associates came to recommend a specific rate
increase. After all, when an individual or business wishes to build a new
house or expand a business, they may need to borrow money to finance it.
Normally, a lender would like to know the scope and details of the project
in order to determine how much money would be prudent. This example isnít a
perfect match, but you can understand where Iím going with it. If these
increases are for specific projects, their costs must be known. If these
increases are to cover previous shortfalls in budgets, the reasons for the
shortfall must be known. Thatís why the townís salaried experts, hired an
outside financial consultant.
But, ďWhereís the beef (answers)?Ē If Mr. Hiestandís questions arenít
answered (promptly), then itís evident Mr. Julien must have been guessing.
And, if thatís so, H.J. Umbaugh & Associates should return any fees paid to
them for this project. And, the Town Council should explain to local
residents who are going to pay these increases, why and how they voted for
this without presenting the answers to these specific questions which were
asked at previous public meetings.