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Higher rates give residents no choice

November 4, 2009

With all the various utility and municipal rates and fees going up apace around here for the people who have no choice but to subscribe to these necessary services, and who therefore have no choice but to accept and to pay them no matter how difficult their own personal, financial situation has become, especially lately; and no matter how unwilling, or even how not seriously interested, these entities that

serve

the public primarily by the monopolistic power they hold over them are in pinching pennies and stretching dollars—again, especially lately—it’s important for Rockfordians to understand that, as of Oct. 13, there’s another, far more troubling breed of specter stalking the land than that of simple greed and profligacy, which always tends to afflict the powers that be, who nevertheless have been entrusted to fight the affliction, not turn it into a fine art for scoundrels.

As the economy has gotten progressively worse, keeping as many at, rather than paring as many city employees from, the public trough, has become the city fathers’ main, upside-down concern. They laid off 30, but rather than lay off 34 more, they passed a two-year-only (ha-ha) $3 increase in monthly garbage fees.

But it isn’t really an increase, which will come soon enough anyway; to keep our staff bigger than we can afford, mind you, it’s the wholesale creation of a whole new revenue stream/slush fund: $1.8 million a year
freed

up from property taxes—and from the garbage-earmark accountability.

Norman Bleed

Rockford

From the November 4-10, 2009 issue

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