Government servants, the vast majority of whom are hardworking and dedicated, are often the too-easy targets of ire, rage even, by those who are inconvenienced or otherwise impacted by some decision, decisions made using the best information available.
Take the proposals for using “excess” (read: more than legally required) O’Fallon water and sewer funds.
Phil Goodwin proposes returning it to customers by lowering costs for the next three years. This would be good for ratepayers. His opponents say a rebate shouldn’t be done because there is no “fair” way to distribute it.
Herb Roach wants to freeze current water and sewer rates for a year. This would also be good for ratepayers, but Roach would have to use those same excess funds to offset an expected rate increase, something his campaign forgot to mention.
Some others want to use the excess funds now for preventative replacement of older infrastructure – why wait for a failure to occur? This could be a sensible use of the excess funds. Still others propose delaying preemptive replacements because those lines could easily last several more years, so why waste money replacing lines that don’t need it yet? Another sensible approach.
Any choice will make some unhappy. But we can argue about which approach is best only because there actually are “excess” funds, generated through the City’s responsible, conservative fiscal management. Can you spell AA+ bond rating?
Phil Goodwin is our best bet to ensure continued first-rate financial management.
Charles Pitts, Lebanon