Letter to the Editor: Utility rates: Why?

I congratulate City Council for finally making a decision on the utility rates. However, it is unfortunate that council did not accept the scientific M1 approach proposed by Mr. Magel and Mr. Waldack (Aug. 16, 2010 council meeting). The M54 rate design has a major flaw in that it “paints a broad brush” (Mike Burton-rate consultant March 16, 2012) which results in over charging low users within a class.

Approximately, 13 percent of all residential customers use less than 5,000 gallons/month of water, but because some homes use 135,000 gallons/month these low users end up paying a much higher capacity charge than they should. This situation is even worse in the commercial class. Almost 48 percent of the commercial customers use less than 5,000 gallons/month of water, but because a few customers use 4.9 million gallons/month the whole class is penalized.

Mr. Burton, the City’s consultant, told Council that further analysis needed to be done to fix this low user capacity problem. For some reason, Council chose to ignore the consultant advice. Why not fix this problem now, before someone challenges the City in court?

If a condo uses 5,000 gallons/month and pays $28.02 why should a home or business using the same amount of water be charged $49.01 or $55.06 respectively (note does not include $7.01 customer charge)? The answer is the “broad brush”. Contact your Council and demand that they complete the rate design the right way. Bring back Mr. Burton one more time and fix this injustice.

Kenneth E. Honecker

Marco Island

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Comments » 27

ajm3s writes:

"If a condo uses 5,000 gallons/month and pays $28.02 why should a home or business using the same amount of water be charged $49.01 or $55.06 respectively (note does not include $7.01 customer charge)?"

Answer: A broad brush with a classification system that is based on type of dwelling/operation.

All under the banner of cost of service?

Seawaller writes:

Unfortunately, to do as Ken asks would essentially undermine the "class system" of rate charges. It was never nor shall it ever be the intention of this Council to charge everyone the same for the gallons they use. There are those who benefit greatly by this class system and they control the Council. At the present time, under this Council, "completing the rate design the right way" just won't happen. Contacting Council and demanding the same will be an exercise in futility.

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

Fair and equitable have not been part of our Councilors actions for many years. What makes anyone think that they are going to change their ways now?

Homeowners have been subsidizing Condos and Hotels.

Do condo owners pay a lower kwh rate structure for individual units than homeowners pay? I do not know the answer to this. If they don't and I do not believe that they do then why are they paying less for water?

happy34145 writes:

how there has been no class action suit on behalf of the homeowners against the city at this point is unbelievable!

jwputnam writes:

The problem is that the single family home owners are apathetic and do not vote or even seem to be aware of the problem. That is how we wind up with councilman (3 on current council and 4 in recent past) who are bankrupt and in foreclosure putting you and me in debt for $400,000,000. But they are quite sure that we don't notice as they are all running for re-election....even the one total buffoon who used to plagiarize in this paper and was once accused of sexual harassment in the City offices.

And that is the best we have....hand picked by John Arceri and Monte Lazarus.

Home owners outnumber condo dwellers by a significant number. Wake up Marco.

lauralbi1 writes:

There is nothing flawed in a rate table that takes into account cost of service. LCEC does the same.
And if someone thinks that Hotels on the Island should pay the same rate as a condo or homeowner, that is absurd. There is a curve that illustrates cost versus use and it confirms the City's rates.
But it is always good to hear from those few that always chime in with the same opinions, as do I.
Ed Issler

MarcoDefender writes:

in response to Ocram:

Fair and equitable have not been part of our Councilors actions for many years. What makes anyone think that they are going to change their ways now?

Homeowners have been subsidizing Condos and Hotels.

Do condo owners pay a lower kwh rate structure for individual units than homeowners pay? I do not know the answer to this. If they don't and I do not believe that they do then why are they paying less for water?

Oc - Well put, we finally agree on something important. This election will give all Islanders a great opportunity to make some positive changes.

blogsmog writes:

in response to jwputnam:

The problem is that the single family home owners are apathetic and do not vote or even seem to be aware of the problem. That is how we wind up with councilman (3 on current council and 4 in recent past) who are bankrupt and in foreclosure putting you and me in debt for $400,000,000. But they are quite sure that we don't notice as they are all running for re-election....even the one total buffoon who used to plagiarize in this paper and was once accused of sexual harassment in the City offices.

And that is the best we have....hand picked by John Arceri and Monte Lazarus.

Home owners outnumber condo dwellers by a significant number. Wake up Marco.

John, a run for council should be in your future. We need your unwavering integrity and guts to wretch this island back from the syndicate.

p.s. Take Mario with you when you go down to city hall to register.

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

in response to blogsmog:

John, a run for council should be in your future. We need your unwavering integrity and guts to wretch this island back from the syndicate.

p.s. Take Mario with you when you go down to city hall to register.

Blogsmog,

You are "right on" in your assessment of city councilors. As you said some of their own finances are perfectly screwed up, may not be paying city taxes from their own money and they are controlling the taxes that we have to pay. Why would someone in their right mind want to put that person back in office and for what rational reason?

The problem on this island and what has made it easy for Arceri's cronies to get away with this has been the fact that many of our voters are part timers and with many seniors, involved in their own health issues due to age and do not find the time or have the energy to put forth the effort that is needed. Many are here to comfortably spend thier retirement years and may not want to get "involved'.

City Hall's method was wear out those seniors, they feel that these people will give up in time and when it came to the STRP that is exactly what happened.

Now we have another Condo dweller vs. Home owner issue. You can be as sure as the sun comes up every day that City Hall will use the divide and conquer method of management and once again do what they have to in order to get their agenda thru.

Maybe this year's elections will make a difference, I surely hope so.

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

in response to MarcoDefender:

Oc - Well put, we finally agree on something important. This election will give all Islanders a great opportunity to make some positive changes.

Thank you.

The following being said in jest.

MarcoDefender I must have said something wrong since you are agreeing with me. LOL

WizeOlMarco writes:

"There is a curve that illustrates cost versus use and it confirms the City's rates."

Where would someone get a copy of this so-called curve?

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

in response to lauralbi1:

There is nothing flawed in a rate table that takes into account cost of service. LCEC does the same.
And if someone thinks that Hotels on the Island should pay the same rate as a condo or homeowner, that is absurd. There is a curve that illustrates cost versus use and it confirms the City's rates.
But it is always good to hear from those few that always chime in with the same opinions, as do I.
Ed Issler

I will suggest that homeowner's should pay less than hotels and an equal rate to condo owner's.

Hotels are here using our facilities to make a profit on their investments. Their expense for water is therefore tax deductable giving them an even lower actual cost. The homeowner or condo owner on the other hand has to cough up the full amount for the water he is paying without any benefit of a tax deduction.

For this matter alone the hotels should pay a higher rate and should not be subsidized by the homeowners, many of which are on fixed incomes.

Anything that takes away more from the homeowner is therefore flawed and completely unfair.

blogsmog writes:

I came from a family and culture that fought the cronies in my home city... it pains me to no end to see these 40 or 50 cronies run rough shot over this beautiful city and no one does a dam& thing about it. People take back your city!!

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

I guess when you become older, you do not wish to spend the energy and valuable time on fighting "City Hall".

The syndicate is well aware of this and has been able to do just about anything they can get away with. Notice that important issues that require a vote or input by the citizenry comes up too often when many are back up north.

It still irritates many to no end why city hall was named after Tucker, especially on the "spur of the moment" vote, by the councilors involved.
Where was the notice and public input for such a decision? We should have placed a plaque at Veteran's Park along with his infamous "non existant" photos directed against the citizens of this island.

If home owners do not stand up and contribute what they need to do to get the syndicated out there will be just more of the same cronyism for years to come.

ajm3s writes:

May I suggest you subscribe and read the MIPO newsletter

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?shv...

MIPO brings forth issues to the surface that may seam trivial for residents, however they may have long lasting impact on the quality of life. By definition, property owners pay for all improvements and operations of this island less federal grant monies to which we can claim a portion of its costs.

As property owners, we are seeking to understand as well as impact the decisions made, both day-to-day and long term, by city management and council, including appointed boards and committees. MIPO's goal is to provide a review and perspective of issues from the view of residents, NOT necessarily the CITY's perspective, NOT a city director's perspective, NOT the city manager's perspective, and NOT necessarily some members of the existing council who have lost the vision.

We often hear that the city is providing for its residents, yet we find ourselves looking at building plans, development proposals that do NOT reflect the character of this city as a place to raise a family, retire or vacation. As property owners we wish to be fairly represented against a backdrop of ever increasing commercialization (i.e. density transfer), restrictions (i.e. ROW standards), and spending (i.e excessive utility and building expansion). We are not against change, we are against a vision that is not in keeping with a vision that has been laid out decades ago, and to which we loved when we first crossed the bridge.

MIPO strives to have an impact as directed from its members and to provide information gathered from property owners who attend city sponsored committee meetings, workshops and council meetings as public attendees. And let us not forget, MIPO represents residents regardless, if some issues appear divisive. A dialog is healthy. We just want to be heard and not dismissed simply as malcontents or MISINFORMED. MIPO strives to populate all public meetings in an effort to gain insight and remind elected officials and city management, that this island is not simply an engine for growth, but a place to live and to maintain a sense of quality that is so aptly expressed in the Planning Board's mission statement:

"...Board's focus is to enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors on Marco Island while managing growth and development and protecting the island’s tropical small town character."

MIPO wishes to remind the city management and elected officials the need to protect the island's small town character and MIPO wishes to press this vision because in the end it benefits us all.

As an example, Mr. Magel suggested at the last Planning Board meeting that the city needs to address parking because there are folks from the 951 corridor that will come to this island for its beaches. He believes in a vision that is not necessarily in keeping with a "small tropical town".

a MIPO member

1Paradiselost writes:

When they named the city hall we also named our lift station after Tucker. A real POS that was full of himself!

happy6 writes:

it's called "re-distribution"....if we get more hope and change we'll have more of it.

captnjimbo writes:

in response to ajm3s:

May I suggest you subscribe and read the MIPO newsletter

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?shv...

MIPO brings forth issues to the surface that may seam trivial for residents, however they may have long lasting impact on the quality of life. By definition, property owners pay for all improvements and operations of this island less federal grant monies to which we can claim a portion of its costs.

As property owners, we are seeking to understand as well as impact the decisions made, both day-to-day and long term, by city management and council, including appointed boards and committees. MIPO's goal is to provide a review and perspective of issues from the view of residents, NOT necessarily the CITY's perspective, NOT a city director's perspective, NOT the city manager's perspective, and NOT necessarily some members of the existing council who have lost the vision.

We often hear that the city is providing for its residents, yet we find ourselves looking at building plans, development proposals that do NOT reflect the character of this city as a place to raise a family, retire or vacation. As property owners we wish to be fairly represented against a backdrop of ever increasing commercialization (i.e. density transfer), restrictions (i.e. ROW standards), and spending (i.e excessive utility and building expansion). We are not against change, we are against a vision that is not in keeping with a vision that has been laid out decades ago, and to which we loved when we first crossed the bridge.

MIPO strives to have an impact as directed from its members and to provide information gathered from property owners who attend city sponsored committee meetings, workshops and council meetings as public attendees. And let us not forget, MIPO represents residents regardless, if some issues appear divisive. A dialog is healthy. We just want to be heard and not dismissed simply as malcontents or MISINFORMED. MIPO strives to populate all public meetings in an effort to gain insight and remind elected officials and city management, that this island is not simply an engine for growth, but a place to live and to maintain a sense of quality that is so aptly expressed in the Planning Board's mission statement:

"...Board's focus is to enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors on Marco Island while managing growth and development and protecting the island’s tropical small town character."

MIPO wishes to remind the city management and elected officials the need to protect the island's small town character and MIPO wishes to press this vision because in the end it benefits us all.

As an example, Mr. Magel suggested at the last Planning Board meeting that the city needs to address parking because there are folks from the 951 corridor that will come to this island for its beaches. He believes in a vision that is not necessarily in keeping with a "small tropical town".

a MIPO member

Good Stuff here.

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

in response to 1Paradiselost:

When they named the city hall we also named our lift station after Tucker. A real POS that was full of himself!

We should be putting pictures of all of the Councilors who supported the STRP on the lift stations all around the city. After all credit should be given to those who deserve it.

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

in response to GorchFock:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Klaus,

Please do not agree with me.
It will make me believe that I have posted something completely absurd!

marco97 writes:

When Tucker's name is removed from City hall I will know we elected the right people to the counsel.

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

Every property owner who was effected by the, apparent, outright lack of consideration that Tucker exhibited during City Council meetings, or may have been effected by the irresponible dumping of asbestos at Veteran's park, or were put off by his admitted lie regarding such, should sign a petition to remove his name from our City Hall.

It is an insult to the people of Marco Island to have to see that man's name on the building in which he carried out some of these activities.

Yes, I hope there is a substantial change in which our councilors took part in the way that the naming of City Hall took place. A quick, sneaky, vote when few others were aware, is not in the manner our Council should act.

1Paradiselost writes:

in response to marco97:

When Tucker's name is removed from City hall I will know we elected the right people to the counsel.

Check this out. Why can't we have city hall renamed. Tucker's best interests were his own! I would not be surprised if he has a Swiss bank account.

"There appears to be no sign of anti-sewer council members switching sides unlike in March 2006 when Councilman Glenn Tucker reversed his vote and preserved the sewer program by a 4-3 split in the new council’s first meeting"

http://www.marconews.com/news/2008/ja...

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

One wonders, also, why Popoff also did the same thing? He campaigned on not supporting the sewer then also switched to supporting it when he began sitting on council.

I think, Popoff was also chairman of City Council when the naming of City Hall took place.

HMMMM, very coincidental I would say.

marcofriend writes:

in response to Ocram:

Every property owner who was effected by the, apparent, outright lack of consideration that Tucker exhibited during City Council meetings, or may have been effected by the irresponible dumping of asbestos at Veteran's park, or were put off by his admitted lie regarding such, should sign a petition to remove his name from our City Hall.

It is an insult to the people of Marco Island to have to see that man's name on the building in which he carried out some of these activities.

Yes, I hope there is a substantial change in which our councilors took part in the way that the naming of City Hall took place. A quick, sneaky, vote when few others were aware, is not in the manner our Council should act.

A quick, sneaky, vote indeed. Anyone who attended that meeting remembers how a number of our local "attorneys" showed up even though there was no agenda item and our then Council Chairman Rob Popoff silenced a citizen for speaking up for the people and question why this renaming should happen, and then Rob had the police chief remove this man from the meeting. Unfortunately this has shown how "typical" the city's cronyism actually is. While I do not like to speak ill of the dead, we should not have named a building after someone who lied to the Council and the city residents about photos and asbestos.

20_Days writes:

in response to marcofriend:

A quick, sneaky, vote indeed. Anyone who attended that meeting remembers how a number of our local "attorneys" showed up even though there was no agenda item and our then Council Chairman Rob Popoff silenced a citizen for speaking up for the people and question why this renaming should happen, and then Rob had the police chief remove this man from the meeting. Unfortunately this has shown how "typical" the city's cronyism actually is. While I do not like to speak ill of the dead, we should not have named a building after someone who lied to the Council and the city residents about photos and asbestos.

Without a doubt, my friends and I agree with you. Go for it!

ajm3s writes:

in response to marcofriend:

A quick, sneaky, vote indeed. Anyone who attended that meeting remembers how a number of our local "attorneys" showed up even though there was no agenda item and our then Council Chairman Rob Popoff silenced a citizen for speaking up for the people and question why this renaming should happen, and then Rob had the police chief remove this man from the meeting. Unfortunately this has shown how "typical" the city's cronyism actually is. While I do not like to speak ill of the dead, we should not have named a building after someone who lied to the Council and the city residents about photos and asbestos.

So true, and scary. But adds to the rationale that citizens need to stay informed or at the very least talk to those you know who you believe are informed.

Because in the end, it eventually reaches your front door, or street, or neighborhood. And then they ask, how did this come about? I say, it is memorialized with a plaque on City Hall.

I love history, so whenever I can, I remind folks the story about the naming of City Hall coupled with the comments stated above.

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