New water rates soak the citizens

Published 10:07 pm Tuesday, May 7, 2013

To the editor:

An article in The Virginian-Pilot on May 1 highlighted the fact that Suffolk has the highest water rates in all of Hampton Roads. This article appeared before the City Council voted to increase the rate by another 10 percent, resulting in a 52-percent increase since 2008.

Furthermore, the City is projecting double-digit increases each year for the next several years.

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The Pilot’s article pointed out a statement made by Suffolk city officials that comparisons to other area cities are not appropriate because the conditions are so different. However, I seem to remember the city justifying some major pay increases for Suffolk officials just a few months ago by comparing their former salaries to those of similar officials in other cities in the area.

It’s strange how the argument changes for selected issues.

To round everything off, a 6-cent increase in property taxes was passed, kicking homeowners when they’re down, since their property values are lower than they’ve been in many years.

I’d like to see an article itemizing all of the budget cuts proposed and passed by City Council for 2013, so citizens of Suffolk can see whether their local government is enacting the same kinds of cutbacks private citizens have had to make in order to cope with the realities of the current economic situation.

Buddy Wilkins