2012-04-14 / Editorials & Letters

The Scuttlebutt misses the real story


I’ve been waiting for “The Scuttlebutt” to get all the “real” village news, but I guess I’ll just have to rely on the good ole Beacon. As some may recall, The Scuttlebutt was touted to be the only reliable source of factual information from Buckeye Lake Village Council to village residents. How ironic that the name of village council’s newsletter is slang for rumor or gossip.

The Scuttlebutt¹s disappearance seems strange at a time when the village is planning to move a part-time insider into its newly created highest paid position and council members are whining that residents don’t have all the facts.

First, they said we should come to council meetings to hear the “real” story. When we do attend, the council president uses a stop watch to time public comments and squashes any questions. Residents are told it’s not the place to get answers. When residents disagree with their plans, they decide to hold their discussions in committee meetings.

It looks like the money building up in the water fund is burning a hole in the village’s pocket. I’m sure there’s enough money to turn a part-time water tech paid $12 an hour into a full-time utilities superintendent at $45,000 a year ($21.63 hour). The real question is do we need it?

Buckeye Lake doesn’t provide “utilities.” We provide the easy part – a distribution system for one utility consisting of a pump station, a water tower, fire hydrants and miles of distribution pipes. The entire system is less than two years old, so unless ME Engineers’ inspectors really let us down, we shouldn’t have any major problems for many years.

Maybe our water rates and late payment charges are too high. Very little research went into setting the $29 per month minimum bill and the late charge. Let’s give some of that money back to the people paying it, instead of shoveling it out to a village insider to give him a well paid full-time job.

According to Mayor Baker, the utilities superintendent would have nearly the same responsibilities as a water tech except that the position would be full time. If that’s accurate Mayor, why not just make the water tech a full-time position at the same rate? His annual gross would be $24,960.

The Beacon reported that, “Baker said it’s really a lateral move for Toby from part-time to full-time.” Wouldn’t we all like to have that lateral move? Doubling your work hours and getting an 80 percent raise ($12 to $21.63 per hour) is hardly a “lateral move.”

Another fact that our missing Scuttlebutt fails to report is that the Water Tech soon-to-be Utilities Superintendent has a four-month delinquent water bill. According to a Village of Buckeye Lake U/B Penalty Posting Journal dated 3-13-12, Toby Miller owes $256.28 in back water bills for his Seymour residence. This amount is more than any other single resident listed on the report.

Peggy Wells
Buckeye Lake

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