Tuesday, January 10, 2012

THE LORD GIVETH, THE BOARD TAKETH

In our community things are happening that should give everyone pause, as well as alarm. For many years, elected and appointed officials were happy to serve the citizens of this community for the sheer joy of providing civic service. They did this with the knowledge that public service was never meant to be a source of countable income or used to acquire riches. It sometimes required long hours and in many cases some degree of personal cost. It was soon discovered the joy of giving back through civic service out weighed all the negatives. In the last few years we have seen people, either elected or appointed whose idea seems to be, if you want some type of service from me, it is going to cost you. Instead of the position seeking the right man or woman, we are now seeing a man or a woman seeking a specific position, knowing that somewhere or some how, it will open a door so one can take advantage of the service. The hope being, this service would be a means to make money and if done carefully, not even citizens would know how much they have been taken advantage of. Recently, we have seen a grab for money in the form of board compensation. It was hoped by those who voted for this unearned income, that it would have passed with little fanfare and if discovered, this raid on the public coffers could be justified with flowery words and misdirection if necessary, or course no one thought this scam would be exposed, but it was. When interviewed by citizens and even the media, they have misspoke, misdirected and sought justification by any means possible. This theft of funds from Heber Light and Power, which of course is really from rate payers, can not be justified regardless of the spin. People are finding out more and more what exactly is going on. Here is the latest: Currently board members for Heber Light and Power are receiving $466.00 per month. This is for the single meeting that is held each month that lasts 40 minutes or less. Not being satisfied with just one abuse, they have carefully calculated and planned the latest raid of the treasury of the power company and voted to give themselves more. This latest vote was under the guise they would receive some insurance benefit and if they did not need the benefit, they would take the money. No one should be surprised they took the money. The new benefit is $1,687.00 per month, making a total of $2,153.00 per month. Still not being satisfied with this rip off, they have also figured they needed a Christmas bonus of $565.00 at the end of the year. The totals per year for each board member is $25,836.00 plus the bonus of $565.00. $26,401.00, not bad for public service. The board chairman receives $596.00 plus $1687.00 for a total each month of $2,283.00 or $27,396.00 plus Christmas bonus of $700.00 plus, for a total of $28,096.00 per year for attending a 40 minute meeting each month and the chairman does not even make the agenda. Adding further insult to the rate payers of the power company, this same group of money hungry, so called public servants, also serve on the sewer district at $350.00 per month for one meeting a month or $4,200.00 per year. If you are the mayor of Heber City, which makes you a chairman of Heber Light and Power and serve in the same capacity in the sewer district, you can reward yourself to the tune of $32,296.00 plus and this does not include what is received as an elected official. If you are one of the selected few councilmen, the Mayor wants on his team, you can receive $30,601.00 and that does not include what is received as a councilman. Keep in mind, they receive this benefit whether they attend a monthly meeting or not. One of the councilmen two years ago, received his money and he only attended 70 percent of the time. This is the same group, that voted for a power rate increase and desires to raise the rates again in the near future. They will eventually need the increase to fund the greed. Now the big question is, if they are willing to take from citizens who struggle to pay their power and sewer rates, and have now been found out, how much more have they taken that citizens have not yet found out about? We can only hope they will rescind this callous action, or even better yet, resign, thereby giving the citizens a break from such distasteful and disgusting behavior. The creed for some is this simple phase: “If I can not benefit myself, my family or friends with my service, then it is not worth serving”. Contact the board members, let them know you will not stand still for this fleecing and demand a change.

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