Holland, Supervisor Meeting 10/24/2012. The following remarks were made by Bill O’Neill, (me) to the Board of Supervisors. When I first came to Holland sewers were being built on Rocksville Road. The annual charge was $85. Now the Sewer Board, the political sewer board, wants to increase my sewer bill from $630 to $788 a year. I have a well. So the Sewer board just arbitrarily charges two seniors $788. That’s unconscionable. I know you are not the sewer board but you appoint the sewer board. I also know about the hostility down there towards me and Supervisors Rothermel, Cunningham and Rose. One of the board assaulted me on three,…. Well let’s not go there. The point is the board is unfriendly, aggressive and retaliatory. One board member and a political operative videographer probably violate the video recording statute of PA, 18 Pa. C.S. § 5701, et seq. without consequence by video recording citizens without their approval. The point is this is an aggressive retaliatory board backed by a Northampton political organization. They cannot be trusted nor should they have the confidence of the voters.
So they announced a 25% increase. A 25% increase during a recession. At a time when people are struggling to pay for heating fuel and gasoline. When Seniors are being hit by $4.00 a gallon gasoline and increasing medical insurance costs and decreasing coverage increase our anxieties. My medical insurance for two retired people increased $2,400 in 2012 in anticipation of Obamacare. Back to the Sewer increase. Why didn’t the elected officials fight back the sewer increase? At the very least the compensation to the board members should be cut. How much? How about cut their compensation by $75 a week. They only work about nine days this year and they are paid about $400 a day for the short meetings where they don’t know what they are doing so they hire cronies to advise them and the cronies are even fighting the other cronies. This board wastes money on the scale of Niagara Falls so there’s no way to believe them that they need more money or that they need an increase of 25%. One thing at least, have public hearings about the increase where the director and the board can be interrogated under oath.
The Sewer board is supposed to handle the pipes, pumps and sewage. When they tell us they need 25% more it proves they have not been doing their jobs. Essentially the sewer board is under the control and direction of the director down there. He prepares the plans and spends the money. There is neither effective leadership nor any effective oversight of the director from the sewer board. The board ignores the Supervisors and constantly berates them at the meetings. This is a disrespectful group. That’s not the way it’s supposed to work. Someone is supposed to be planning the sewer system. All we see is watching and reporting. No leadership. No leading. No planning. America is supposed to have a government that protects the people, not exploits them. That means making things less expensive. That’s how Wal-Mart does it. Too bad the chuckleheads down at the Sewer board can be aggressively obstructive,….. but they can’t plan. The place should be closed and the Director given a desk at the township building. Or maybe in the maintenance shop.
It’s always surprise after surprise. Like the Toll Brothers sewer pipe being installed at the expense, not of Toll Brothers but being paid by the citizens who pay for all the other mistakes of the sewer board and its director. The comments of the board against the supervisor who is the township liaison show a level of disrespect like the leaders of a third world tin-horn board who knows there can’t be or won’t be consequences. Like the debacle of the West End Sewer Construction that caused lots of battles because of the arrogant sewer board leaders. Then they assessed revenge Tapping Fee.
The sewer board says the County is to blame for the increase in sewer rates. How can the county get away with that? Who’s watching the county as they just increase the rates? They do it because they get away with it. No one at the township is watching the county but someone should be.
At the very least the people of Northampton should know what the county and the sewer board is doing about sewer rates and the Northampton Township Manager should know and explain how the increase happened. Why the Township Manager? Because the Township is responsible for the health of the citizens. That’s in the budget.
BTW. We do not need useless explanations. We need to know how the rate increase is going to be stopped. Here are some ideas.
Get the politicians involved.
The Authority is one of the most political groups in Bucks County. The 5 Northampton Supervisors and the three County Commissioners play politics. State Senator Tommy Tomlinson is an expert politician. So is State Rep. Scott Petri. They have Political Influence over the Bucks County Water and Sewer Authority. We can get them to stop the increase. How? They all want to be re-elected. They need our votes.
Every election they ask us to vote for them. When is the last time you asked them to do something for you by doing their jobs? We need to show up, to protest and mention their names. If you see them on Election Day tell them you are not happy having representation that’s ineffective. Put them on the spot to explain why they failed to do something about the sewage crisis in Northampton. They’re smart. They’ll get the message.
Meanwhile, show up at the next meeting. You needn’t say anything. They’ll know why you’re there. OTOH, say whatever you want. It’s America. That’s the way it’s supposed to work.