The City Council met tonight at 8pm and one of the topics on tonight's agenda was about the problems at the water department. The City Council motioned to have a meeting at the finance committee scheduled for September 7th. This motion was passed so that the finance committee can make recommendation's on hiring an outside firm to audit the water company.
About 8 residents who have had ongoing water billing problems showed up at the meeting but you could see that their frustrations and patience have been spread thin. One of the residents Mr.Ford has been dealing with this problem for about a year now and in his own consumption report and according to his calculations he is actually owed money by the water company and is contemplating sending them a bill. When asked if he thinks they would pay it he said "I highly doubt it."
One of the first persons to break the story was Ms. Cato who received a water bill of close to $100,000. She has been trying to find out how they came up with those numbers and has had every excuse given to her by the water department. The huge tree in your yard is taking up the water and you have a leak somewhere. Ms. Cato has gotten the bill down to $17,000 but still has not been given a reason why her bill is so high. Faulty water meters to missing reports.
City Councilor Michele Dubois has been very supported in this matter and this week alone has talked to five people in her ward that have had billing problems. The frustration could be felt by the residents and also by some of the councilors at the water problems. Tom Monahan, Thomas Brophy and Michele Dubois have basically taken it upon themselves to find out how the water department runs. They are actually interpreting bills for people and trying to figure out what exactly the problem is. The sense is that many things are going wrong at the water department and the department itself seems not to know what is going on.
Many of the residents have been asking for their consumption reports and are not getting it. The overall tone is that the water department is blaming the residents and can't seem to give any legitimate reasons on the estimated billing being so high, why they haven't replaced faulty meters, how they can adjust bills on the spot from $12,000 to $4,700 and just total disregard for the residents of Brockton. Many people who are truly concerned about this and have always paid their bills on time want to resolve this but are getting no assistance from the Mayors office or the water department but actually resistance and hostility.
So for tonight's meeting the water problem goes to the next step, another meeting. So while the department is in disarray and people are paying interest on their bills and having liens placed on their houses and on their property taxes, we have to go to an outsider to tell us.
I spoke to a lady on the phone today who was in tears, she always paid her bills on time and never had a credit problem and is feeling guilt because she has an outstanding bill. This women has lived in Brockton almost 40 years and probably has given in property taxes and water bill payments well over $100,000(I pulled that number out my ass,like the water dept. does) her bill is so high because she has long hair and takes long showers, this is what was told to her.
The rally is set for August 30th at 3:30pm at City Hall. Brocktonians bring your signs and lets protest the water department and get things moving. People are stressed out over this and are losing their houses and having health problems over this.