The Rebuttal

Alderman Rossitte’s argument to vote AGAINST

Citizen for Accountability member Steve Winkler’s reply (italics)


Dissolving the Water and Sewer Commission is not necessary, and I don’t think it is a good idea. There is a group of people who say the commission and Water and Sewer Department have no accountability. They have more accountability than any employee or elected official in West Fork.

Mr. Rossetti does not want the Commission dissolved. There’s plenty of accountability.

They are accountable to federal and state regulations that dictate a narrow avenue of operation. They are accountable to every household in West Fork for efficient service of water and sewer at affordable rates.

Water and sewer systems must abide by federal and state regulations.

We have low rates which were discussed extensively and compared with other similar communities with complete transparency at the public hearing and council meetings.

True, rates are low but there is no evidence they will increase if the commission is dissolved and water and sewer service is controlled by a department in city government.

We have a superintendent and employees who listen to and respond to all of its citizens with courtesy and help.

This is an arguable statement. There are plenty of people who feel their concerns about water and sewer have not been adequately addressed. Example, low pressure, leaks, raw sewage on their property,etc.

Our current commission, whose members have served for two years and less (with one exception), are professionals who have a working knowledge of water and sewer systems, understand about construction, contracts, engineering, funding, government regulations and the importance of serving the citizens of West Fork.

It appears only one of the five commissioner has any working knowledge of management software and the efficiency that can result from it.

The mayor and City Council should not replace this commission because we cannot be as effective and efficient as this group.

The initiative doesn’t call for the mayor and council run the water and sewer system themselves. It calls for them, elected officials, being in control and overseeing a city water department that, as with fire, police, planning, court, library and parks are part of city and its budget process.

We are looking at about three years of development of a sewer system that will involve taking our waste to Fayetteville and shutting down our current wastewater facility. We need this current commission and their expertise and their concern for West Fork citizens to help us move through this construction project and transition.

True, the current commission has experience. But they have a track record showing high water loss, sewage problems, environmental violations and fiscal irresponsibility.

 To dissolve this commission and turn this project over to the mayor and City Council would only serve to increase the cost of this project and decrease the efficiency of its process.

There is no evidence of that.

What we should do is ask the mayor to attend Water and Sewer Commission meetings and offer any services and help that the city can supply and to work openly and cooperatively with the Water and Sewer Commission and with Mr. Bartholomew. The mayor works for the citizens of West Fork.

What would the mayor do at the Water Commission meeting?  She no vote, no real influence and no authority.  Should the Commissioners be required to attend council meetings? Why should they, the council has no authority over them? There is simply  no organizational link between the elected officials (voters/taxpayers) and the water commission.

 

The Water and Sewer Commission and Mr. Bartholomew work for the citizens of West Fork. There should be a cooperative and friendly relationship among these public servants and employees because this is the right and productive way to manage a city.

Mr. Bartholomew is accountable to and paid by the Commission. He is not elected or appointed. True, we should just get along.

City Council members, the city clerk, and other concerned citizens have attended the Water and Sewer Commission meetings and asked questions. Regardless of the independent stature of the Water and Sewer Commission, the mayor should be working with this group and certainly with Mr. Bartholomew. We deserve that as citizens and taxpayers of West Fork.

Blame the mayor.

This new system of wastewater removal could open doors for new businesses to come into West Fork and for new opportunities for the residents of West Fork.

How will sending sewer flow to Fayetteville bring in new business?

The burden of re-organization and re-defining of duties within the Water and Sewer Department and the city government would jeopardize this transition and construction project.

There is no evidence for this statement. It probably won’t be as complicated as creating a website. It mostly involves paperwork, nothing of a physical nature happens.

The people pushing this have their own personal agenda, and they show no evidence that this is in the best interest of the citizens of West Fork and the future of our town. Their reasons are rhetoric and based on isolated incidents taken out of context.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I have a “personal agenda.” Democratize city government.

We already have in place a group of professional and qualified West Fork citizens on our Water and Sewer Commission who are working in our best interest, and we have the advantage of years of experience in wastewater management in our current superintendent and employees and an engineering firm of record who know all about our wastewater facilities. They are on top of this and have already put out a plan of action and a timeline of how this project will proceed.

Professional and qualified…years of experience…on top of this. The commission went broke.

You can get all of these documented details at the City Administration Building.

Thank goodness for FOIA.

Vote AGAINST the repeal of West Fork City Ordinance 79 to dissolve the West Fork Water and Sewer Commission. The commission is accountable to everyone in West Fork, and they continue each month to show that accountability as they meet openly and make plans for our new sewer system.

Meetings are at noon. They may be making plans for the new sewer system but, there has not been one word from them about how they plan to come up with the needed $4 million.

Vote FOR

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