City continues trend of fees

Published 11:00 pm Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ironton officials sent two resounding messages Thursday — neither of which should sit well with taxpayers.

First, the Ironton City Council adopted rate increases for the city’s water and garbage rates, this coming at a time when many Americans are struggling to simply make ends meet.

Secondly, the council didn’t even bother to allow the ordinance to run the full three meetings before adopting it, continuing a disturbing trend established last year when it renewed the “temporary” municipal fee without any significant opportunity for public discussion.

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City residents have resoundingly voiced their opposition to fee or tax increases in recent years and this move only serves as a slap in the face to those taxpayers.

City leaders will argue that it has been a number of years since these utilities have increased. That may be true but what steps have been taken to prevent this? What has been done to ensure that these departments are operating efficiently?

If things have been done then these city leaders haven’t done enough to educate the general public to these steps.

The other argument is that Ironton has lower rates than neighboring communities. But that doesn’t hold water either.

Ironton has a fire fee. And a municipal fee. And a sewer fee. And a stormwater fee. And an administrative fee.

City council and the mayor have a responsibility to do what the think is best but that same responsibility extends to explaining those decisions.