What If Everyone Just Stopped Paying The Water Bill?
So once again, the city officials are talking about raising your utility bill in Lawton, and people are crying foul. Why? Because it seems that anytime the city decides adding more revenue to their coffers rather than being more responsible with your money, they add a charge to the water bill. Still worse, your elected officials think that you, the citizen doesn't have a say in it.
Show of hands, how many times have you brought the water bill up to a sitting city councilor, and they just say "I was against it, nothing I could do." ? It's amazing how they can claim being against raising bills, yet it somehow manages to happen. If the city is constantly hurting for money, where are they spending it? It's not on roads. It's not on flood management and mitigation. Where is our money really being spent?
If you remember back to the last mayoral election cycle, these were the two big talking points at odds with each other... Stan Booker wanted to modernize city hall and Dwight Tanner wanted to audit every department. Skip forward to the now, would you say the city has modernized? Now that audit is looking pretty good isn't it? Where is your money being spent.
Fun fact, the City of Lawton operating budget jumped up over $100,000,000.00 from 2017 to 2018... Something even crazier, the amount of money dedicated to streets actually went down in 2018 even though they had an extra hundred million dollars to play with. It's in the budget PDF's on the City of Lawton website.
So what can you do about your constantly rising base utility bill as citizens? Obviously, your elected officials aren't keeping to their word and listening to their constituents. You could protest by not paying your water bill in July.
"Why wait until July?" Because that's when all the new changes will take place if passed.
"What if they just shut off the water for everyone?" That would be a bold move and an impressive task for them to take on... but how's the backlash going to be making a move like that in the middle of a global pandemic? Playing politics can work for you sometimes...
Perhaps we're not seeing the big picture and they really have no other choice but to cut service and raise the rates. Maybe it's the only way for them to continue operating, but I think you're to smart to believe that. This is more than likely a move to save the current expenditures by the city. Instead of stopping what they consider "progress," they'd rather do whatever they could to stay on track with whatever the project is.
"But they wouldn't do that!"
Remember when they pushed the last CIP through on the promise of roads, then announced the buying of a new property in the days after it managed to pass?
Here's the thing, when I'm running low on cash before payday, I buy store brand food and quit spending on stuff I don't need. I'd bet you do the same thing. Perhaps it's time for your city officials to do adopt these traits of the citizens they're reigning over.