Letters to the Editor

City’s fear tactics falling on deaf ears | Letters | May 15

If you were not frightened as you read last week’s article on the state of the Bainbridge Ratepayer Alliance’s lawsuit (“City stuck between lawsuit and sewer”), it wasn’t because the administration wasn’t trying – with lines like – “we are running out of money,” “sewer rates may double,” “the lawsuit has no merit.” And, of course, we, the ratepayers, will suffer.

That has been our lot for six years while the city has spent, unwisely, millions of dollars of our money. Our efforts to engage in dialogue went unanswered. It was to stop this behavior and bring sanity to our local government, that we filed this lawsuit (see bainbridgeratepayersalliance.com). Yet, the city administrator says it “has no merit.”

Were that so, why didn’t the city secure a “no merit opinion” from counsel in February or March when we raised the same issues? Or after the lawsuit was filed on April 22 as they said they would? If there is “no merit” why hasn’t the city attorney offered his opinion of “no merit,” rather than the city administrator?

The finance director says the city may double sewer rates and even charge ratepayers for legal fees incurred due to the city’s missteps. Neither move would be lawful. In the absence of facts or the law on its side, the city has resorted to fear tactics, to playing on the public’s distaste for lawsuits. More often than not, lawsuits are filed seeking justice. This is one of those times.

Remember that while the city continues to lash out to frighten us, it has been forced by the lawsuit to address pressing utility issues publicly. This includes, after disregarding its legal mandate for years, finally seeking citizen-volunteers to serve on a Utility Advisory Committee. Be patient. We will stay the course.

Dick Allen

Bainbridge Ratepayers Alliance

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