Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Coody Consultant Creates Confusion

Aldermen Kyle Cook, Bobby Ferrell, and Lioneld Jordan have proven themselves to be pretty smart fellows, evidenced by their overhauling a consultant's report on water and sewers rates and fashioning one to fit the real and legitimate needs of Fayetteville citizens and our business community. They should be commended for that good work, but their work is not yet done.

At the Water and Sewer Committee meeting yesterday, all three of our aldermen were completely baffled. Mayor Coody submitted a recommendation to jack up water and sewer impact fees from the current rate of $1,143 to $5,585 for a single family home. It was supposedly based on the report from Duncan and Associates, another Austin, Texas, consulting firm hired by Coody. It was not only unacceptable to the committee, it was also incomprehensible.

Coody did not show up to own his recommendation or the report. As usual, he avoided responsibility and sent staff members to do his work, but neither of them could translate or explain the obscure document. Gary Dumas and Paul Becker could not answer the committee's questions. They just said that there were going to be future capital expenses and that this would be a way to pay for them. Unless there is another unexplained $63 million "hiccup," right?

The Water and Sewer Committee wisely took no action, but they will meet again in two weeks. Maybe they will get some straight answers. Maybe not. Maybe things will change in January. Maybe the next Mayor will be willing to take responsibility for his actions and be held accountable for crap like this.

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