New sewer rates bloated
January 18, 2011
At its Feb. 3 meeting the board of commissioners is proposing to adopt sewer rates for 2011 and 2012 based upon a bloated, unfounded, unsubstantiated, fantasy 5-year budget prepared by the Director of Public Works Carl Ruschmeyer. At a previous meeting where the rates were discussed the commissioners were not given a copy of that budget in their agenda packets. One wonders why it was kept from the commissioners by the county staff.
Ruschmeyer’s budget includes a 4.5 percent annual COLA/merit increase for employee wages, plus a 4.5 percent annual increase for employee benefits plus an annual 3 percent inflation increase for a long list of 33 management expenses for each of the five years of the projected the budget. That means those increases are compounded to get to the $89 per month sewer fee. He has failed to explain from where those numbers come from.
By approving the Ruschmeyer increased bloated fees, the board of commissioners is approving those huge compounded, unfounded wage increases. Due to the required collective bargaining, mediation and mandatory arbitration they will be unable to stop them. Why would Ruschmeyer do that to the sewer district customers?
Ruschmeyer’s budget fails to recognize reality – the current economic conditions. By projecting those unfounded increases for the next five years, we, the customers and taxpayers are being taken for an expensive ride by our county.
No wonder there is a $497,000 surplus for 2010 in the General Fund. No wonder the employee cost for Douglas County is 82 percent of the budget.
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How many of you are guaranteed an annual 4.5 percent wage plus 4.5 percent benefit increase for the next five years?
The huge fee increase to $89 per month in five years must be stopped. Call, write and e-mail all five of your board of commissioners. Do it today and come to the Feb. 3 meeting.
Stuart L. Posselt