Wednesday, November 24, 2004
Yet again, some members of the Sunnyside City Council are out of touch with the community at-large.
The proposal to meter each manufactured or mobile home in a park setting is ridiculous and a ploy, disguised as fiscal responsibility and water conservation to run lower income residents and senior citizens out of the community. With no people living in these parks there would be no need for these parks, thus eliminating them as some members of the council have been attempting to do for some time.
Residents living in manufactured home parks do pay water, sewer and garbage fees. It's part of their rent. If the city were to go to an individual metering of mobile homes do you think the rent prices would go down for those living in manufactured home parks? I don't think so.
Rather, each owner of a manufactured home would see an increase in utility bills, I'm guessing of $55 or more a month. For some, $55 may not seem like a lot, but for those living on a tight budget it could mean the difference between eating only rice the last week of each month as opposed to a hearty meal. Worse yet, it may take money away for much needed medication. Inevitably, late fees would incur and the financial situation would only get worse for some of these families.
The council, which has a city beautification emphasis, would also see lawns in manufactured home parks dry up and die because people wouldn't be able to individually afford the city's water rates.
Individual metering will reportedly add more money to city coffers.
It seems to me that council members are scrambling to find revenue sources to make up for bad decisions and poor money management that has drained resources and done little to bring additional revenue to the city.
The current system of how mobile home park residents are billed for city utilities has been described by one councilman as a subsidy or a discount. Perhaps it is. But the city has a long track record of subsidizing other interests. How many times have taxpayers' dollars gone toward making infrastructure upgrades for such rich and powerful players like Wal-Mart and K-Mart?
Sunnyside is comprised of hard working, blue collar type people...many of whom make a living in our warehouses and fields for less than optimum wages. Instead of trying to drive these people from our community, our city council should extend a helping hand whenever such an opportunity arises.
This latest ploy not only doesn't extend a helping hand, it's an attempt by the council to reach their hands into the pockets of those who can't afford to give anymore.