Several lessons were learned this afternoon, as the public learned to pay closer attention to the Bayview Water & Sewer Board meetings and the board learned some things about accountability.
A mostly hostile crowed of over 30 rate payers packed the audience after the board announced rates were going to double for the next year and beyond. Two problems were evident. One, the sticker shock with the sudden harsh increase, and the casual do what the law requires regarding notification. Chairperson, Chuck Waller seemed to feel all citizens should pour over the legal notices, just in case it affected them. That was an ill advised lack of judgement in my humble opinion.
He constantly referred to state regulations. What he didn't or wouldn't admit is that those state notification rules are for minimum participation, not maximum. Still, as the meeting proceeded, it became clear that the board members were sincere in hearing every one's concerns. The end result is that the board will, in the future do more to publicize important events.
My observations, which aren't necessarily that of others, is that the openness of the board to hear complaints until the crowd had at last, two hours later, wound down. Some showed up with recall on their minds, only to realize that the board made decisions as they were elected to do, and where some would have acted differently, they didn't run for office. It was noted that directors have six year terms, one board member thought is was only three.
Disarmed and satisfied that the electorate had it's voice heard, it is my feel that things will calm down, the board will make sure that not just the bare minimum legal notice is observed, where elections and rate adjustments are discussed, that widespread notification takes place.
What we saw today was democracy in action at the grass roots. It isn't always comfortable, but always necessary.
On an entirely different subject, it seems that a potbellied pig has been hanging around the post office and environs.Word has it that a couple owning a pig as described felt it necessary to flee Bayview in disarray from their home on 5th street recently. It would be a kindness if someone were to capture the pig and call animal control. I'm sure there are several people enamered with potballys that would either adopt the animal or eat it. Either way, it won't survive the cold weather coming.
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