Editors note: The following guest column is a correspondence by the author to Rockford Mayor Doug Scott.
Dear Mayor Scott:
I have sent a letter similar to this one starting on Feb 19, 2005. I say starting, for I sent it several times. I even rechecked the fax number. That isnt the problem. You are the problem. You havent answered my complaint. You didnt address the problem two years ago, either.
I made an appointment that was designed around your schedule that took time away from my work, but I felt it necessary in that I was not getting the answer to the problem or any improvement through the sources I was directed. This was on Feb. 28, 2003; it has been two years next week. You had committed in the conversation to come to the area with water pressure problems to talk to other neighbors who have also been affected, and the location of these homes were on the upper area of Moraga Way and Palo Verde that Ts into Moraga.
In that I am acquainted with those who mentioned their concerns, I asked them if you had paid anyone a visit. The answer is always No, and nothing has changed.
I know what I have had to pay for expensive devices to get a shower that isnt a trickle, and I know others who have had expensive pumps put on water filters so that we/they can have water from the basement level to the kitchen and on lawn systems as well. I know, as I am included, that solenoids have burned out on icemakers due to the poor pressure, toilets not flushing, parts and replacements for some homeowners, new dishwashers and toilets replaced to expensive upgrades, and multiple repairs. All of this is pointed back to the poor water pressure.
The water quality is disgusting. Before I put on a whole house filter, that again reduced my pressure, I had orange water. I filled a bath and took a sample to show those experts, who came to my home declaring that my pressure was fine and offered for them to test it, but they just stated that it was just the iron in the water. Do you know, no one volunteered to drink it? I allege that isnt the only problem with this water. I would like to know how many residential complaints concerning the water problem in the city go unaddressed?
There have been large sinkholes in lawns in our area and in a street running north and south called Hampton, which is quite dangerous. These are concerns we have been forced to live with and no assistance from you. My suspicion is that there could be a crack in the line reducing the pressure, but no one comes and even looks at this or shows signs of repair. Now we are having levels of combined radium in our water. It astounds me that this was discovered Jan. 24, and we are not informed of this until today, why? Some of us do have health conditions, and we still use the water to brush our teeth and shower that may not be protected by filters. Why is it going to take a year to decide what to do? My city property taxes are outrageous in comparison with those in the county, and this is the service we get?
I received a flier from your office stating that our water has improved. How has it? I am confused and need an explanation of what has been done. In your biography on your Web site, this is what you profess, and I have highlighted what we have not seen.
Doug Scott believes that being accessible and accountable to residents and businesses are top priorities. When not in the office, Doug spends most of his time attending neighborhood gatherings, community events, and meetings with high-rise seniors, reaching out to residents throughout the community. Placing a special emphasis on area schools, Doug often volunteers his time, talking with children about public service.
We have gone through the water department, and they tested every homeowner who complained, and nothing has been done about the pressure problem. We have heard all the excuses. I felt that the two-year wait was long enough and realized that you either didnt care or just consider my complaint and time were not worth acknowledging, but now with the radium level, I find this negligent. Please prove me wrong.
If you plan to be in office the next four years, do you have any intention of having these problems corrected sooner? I do not want to waste my vote in this important up-coming election. These are our homes, and this could have effect on our health; therefore, these problems need immediate attention.
Sarah R. Mabry
Sarah R. Mabry is a homeowner and Rockford resident.