Thursday, August 4, 2011
Letters To The Editor
More consistent bills
While my family and I are not originally from Holly Springs, we’ve come to call it home. My wife and I have made many friends here, and we often feel that we could have never lived anywhere else. We’ve come to share many of the dreams (and some of the disappointments) of our fellow Holly Springers – that our historic town has lots of potential for commerce and growth, but that for some reason certain elements in our community stultify this potential.
While there are several issues that need to be addressed, I want to address a small one – the recent utility bills that most Holly Springers got in the mail last month. We were out of town during much of late July visiting family and friends in Texas, but on Facebook I saw some of the statuses of residents back home which indicated that their energy bills were extremely high and unexpected – $600 and $700 for the month. In all, most people said there was at least a $200 difference between their bills for this month and last month, but sometimes it was more. When we got home, I cringed to open our bill...and of course, it was $235 more than last month’s bill. (I looked on Weather.com and didn’t think that this June was any hotter than previous Junes, but anyway.) What this means is that my family as well as hundreds of other families in our Holly Springs community will be tightening our belts this month and next month if the trend continues.
Something the mayor and the board of aldermen need to understand is that the more our residents have to pay for utility services, and the more dramatic those differences in the monthly balances are, then the more the local economy will suffer. For example, my family right now is single-income, dependent on my monthly salary as a lecturer at the college. Therefore, the $235 extra that we will have to pay represents a substantial cut in our monthly budget. This means that instead of taking the family to JB’s or Annie’s for lunch once or twice a week, this August we will have to stay at home and eat more frequently. This means that instead of going to Booker’s or Teddy’s to buy more home improvement items to work on our home, we will have to let those projects wait until October or November when we can afford them. Meanwhile, local businesses are feeling the pinch more and more because their overhead is higher and fewer residents are buying...and so our downtown and commercial areas die a little more. Of course, the more our local commerce falters, the less tax revenue our city government will have for civic projects, police and fire department raises, etc.
This is the situation that most families and businesses in Holly Springs are facing with a stagnant nationwide economy, a floundering local economy, and no end in sight to our current problems. Most of America is realizing that we can’t wait on Washington, and much of Mississippi is realizing that we can’t wait on help from the state capitol. Therefore, our civic government needs to take the lead and hire an auditor (someone from outside HSUD but someone who understands the utility industry) to search for ways HSUD can be run more efficiently and reasonably so that more money can go into the Holly Springs economy and not to the utility department.
It is not my desire to bash or blame the HSUD employees, because many of them do a good job and serve our community faithfully. On a number of occasions, I have been very indebted to some of their dedicated employees who have helped us solve certain problems. However, one thing our businesses and families need here in Holly Springs is some degree of consistency when it comes to our bills so that we can plan our budgets accordingly. Does this mean that I expect our bills to be the same every month? No. I and other Holly Springers understand we use more energy during some months out of the year than others. What this means is that I would like our bills to be a little more predictable and to reflect more accurately the energy we actually use.
For example, after I’d lived in a house in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for a year, I had a pretty good idea what months would be more expensive and which ones would not be so bad. I had a good understanding of the rate, and so I could roughly predict (within $50 maybe) what my electric bill might be. Since I cannot perceive much consistency with our local utility billing here, then predicting my bill seems impossible for me.
We owe it to our citizens and neighbors to have the most consistent and transparent utility billing system possible, and in this time of prolonged economic sacrifice, all of our civic institutions need to make steps to make sure they are providing services and cutting waste for the sake of our families and businesses, which are the foundation of our community.
Why the hullabaloo?
The President suggested in his speech last week that we contact our representatives and Congressmen and give them our views.
I tried to send e-mail to all of them but for some reason, the e-mail addresses are so long, my computer failed to send. So this morning (July 26) I telephoned Mr. Nunnelee, Mr. Wicker and Mr. Cochran’s offices.
Mr. Wicker’s office gave me a recording that he was unavailable; however, I spoke with an employee at the other offices and gave them my views on the debt ceiling standoff.
I wonder just how many (ordinary) people know just how many times the debt ceiling has been raised since the days of John F. Kennedy.
According to my research it has been raised 77 times. Check it out!
So why the big hullabaloo over raising it now? Politics. That is just my opinion, but no one raised a stink with Reagan and Bushs 1 and 2.
Does anyone besides me wonder why this is?
I have voted for Ike Eisenhower, Ralph Nader, Tricky Dick Nixon, JKF and feel that I am pretty broadminded on most issues. But I feel the reason the Republicans are doing this thing of wanting a short term of raising the ceiling is because they are, first of all, just wanting to have another try at trying to discredit the President and we will just have a big waste of time arguing this thing.
This President inherited the biggest mess in the history of this country and the Republicans, instead of trying to help him straighten it out, all they do is nit-pick.
Is this sour grapes, racism, or some of both?
Check on elderly
Sunday, July 31, 3:30 to 9:30 p.m. St. Paul Road from George Lane to Victoria was without power. Northcentral attempted to restore power several times, but too many issues were involved.
Miscommunications with customer service irritated outage customers. Workers found fuses mismatched from pole to pole.
And the main power line from Warsaw on St. Paul Road is a three-line to George Lane, but drops to a single-line from there to Victoria.
With the number of new residents moving to this end of St. Paul, outages may be expected as more power than the system can handle will occur. All residents of Marshall County should be advised to report, as soon as possible, to Northcentral, of family or neighbors with assisted medical living, oxygen use, elderly, etc.
As the heat has not subsided and will not for a while, these people need to be checked on regularly and Northcentral needs to know their special needs in case of power failure.
Thanks for parking lot
Mary Reid School would like to thank Don Randolph, Jerry Moore, Ronnie Joe Bennett, Ricky Lesure and the Town of Potts Camp for providing us with a new parking lot.
We appreciate everything that is done for us and we want them to know how grateful we are for all they do.
Mary Reid School is dedicated to the children of our community and it is great to have others supporting us.
Please feel free to stop by and visit us whenever you get the opportunity. You are always welcome at Mary Reid.
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