Sunday, December 3, 2017
Tuesday's vote by our board of directors was the final straw for our family: After the board nearly tripled -- at the urging of city management -- our water rates, despite public outcry, we are leaving Hot Springs after nearly 50 years of residence. It breaks my heart, but we found beautiful property in Mount Ida and can no longer stomach a local government that ignores its constituents.
Some of the comments by the board show the disconnect. To their credit, at least three had the good sense not to comment. Two didn't.
District 4 Director Larry Williams said he wanted a $4 monthly stormwater charge (which wouldn't nearly make up the difference) decreased, but said, "It's fallen on deaf ears," in reference to city management. Which means he's an either ineffective board member or simply making political excuses.
District 5 Director Karen Garcia, always good for a soundbite, advocated a program in which persons would volunteer unspecified contributions toward low-income residents by checking a box on their bill and paying extra. Are you serious? No one is going to do that. Political posturing, nothing more.
The saddest part was the board acknowledging the increase will affect "the biggest hardship on customers with fixed incomes." It's doubtful that applies to any of them or a city management that just OK'd a $50K office renovation for manager David Frasher.
Frasher himself was wisely absent, sending out Bill Burroughs in his stead. Since we're talking tax dollars, it's important to note that just last Jan. 6, the city settled a sexual harassment claim against Burroughs, the No. 2 person in city government, by paying $87,500 and allowing him to keep his job.
Enough is enough. We wish everyone in Hot Springs good luck, we have great memories here, but we are leaving.
Hot Springs (not for long)Editorial on 12/03/2017
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