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Government agencies put the screws during economic times

By   /   November 2, 2012  /   Comments

How many of you who are serviced by Water, Gas & Light have paid attention to your utility bills? How about your property tax bills? If you have, you’ve seen that both of those have gone up. It’s hardly surprising, since government can raise their own revenue by their own vote. It’s something that business owners and individuals truly wish they could do, but unfortunately, we can’t.

The thing is, the decision to raise rates and the decision to raise property taxes came during a down economy. It came during at time that many of us are scraping by. We just don’t have a lot of money, because our business requires other people to spend money with us. Now, on top of the expenses that we have for our families and our businesses, we find our utility bills have increased rather significantly. We find that our property taxes have gone up as well.

WG&L isn’t some private entity, despite what they pretend. They are owned by the City of Albany, though the city has remarkably little oversight over the utility. More importantly, they are a monopoly. They raise their rates because they know that people will still need power and water. They know that we will still have to pay it.

Taxes and utility rates are raised because the powers that be know we have to pay it. They don’t give a flying flip about what that does to the citizens of Albany and Dougherty County.

The truth of the matter is that, based on the actions of our so-called “community leaders”, they have shown little evidence of caring about the people of this community. They care more about putting up a good game, but what have you seen from them? What have they done to help make Albany a better community?

We have a city commissioner who wants to kill one day alcohol permits because of something that happened on July 4th…when no alcohol seems to have been served. We have a mayor who has been conspicuously absent from the various functions in town that mayors are kind of expected to be at.

This community needs a lot of help. Some of it is on us, the citizens of Albany. Some of it is on our alleged leaders. I say “alleged” because leaders lead. Some of these people? They couldn’t lead an alcoholic into a bar.

We have a chance to vote soon. There are local races up for your vote. Think before you vote. Make a decision based on what’s best for Albany, and not based on the color of anyone’s skin. What would that decision look like? It’s simple. If they’ve been in office, and the result of that office looks like New York and New Jersey after Sandy got done with them, then you should probably vote against them.

Our so-called leaders aren’t getting the job done. Instead, they’re putting the screws to us during a tough economy. It’s time to replaces as many of them as possible with new blood. If that doesn’t work, we do it again. Eventually, the morons who think they can sit in office and not accomplish anything will get the hint that it just won’t work and decent people will start to run.

Here’s hoping anyway.

Tom Knighton is the Editor and Publisher of the Albany Journal.

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