Grosse Pointe Woods' taxpayers, already saddled with huge bills for water, sewerage and "capital improvement" plus an outrageous "meter charge" and an unnecessary "billing" expense, will have to dig even deeper to cover yet another budgeting error by the city's inept non-resident administration.
During a sparsely-attended July 2 Committee of the Whole (COW) meeting at the Woods' city hall, City Manager Al Fincham and City Treasurer/Comptroller Dee Ann Irby admitted that the Woods' water budget estimate they'd earlier presented to council during a public hearing on the 2012-13 budget was "too conservative" and has to be corrected.
"Too conservative?" They missed their budget estimate by $78,574!
So Woods' taxpayers, the highest-taxed residents in all five Grosse Pointes, next Monday (July 16) will be told by their elected mayor and council that they have to cover their error with an additional rate increase - and that it'll be retroactive to the July 1 water bills that we already have.
These are the same city officials, mind you, who expect you to vote to override the legally-mandated Headlee tax ceiling on Nov. 6 and give them millions more each year to spend on whatever they choose to waste it on. I'm voting NO.
While you're waiting for the November election, however, check your water bills. I live in a two-person household in the Woods. According to my April-May bill, I used 30,000 cubic feet of water at $61.20 and the same amount of sewerage at $48. I paid $21 for "capital improvement" and $61.18 for a "1 inch meter," which may or may not be reliable.
I mean, $61 bucks every two months for a meter that keeps track - for them? I pay 25 cents to park on Mack avenue. They gonna start charging us for the meters, too?
Then, of course, there's the ubiquitous $2 water department "billing expense."
The city's non-resident Water Clerk, a fulltime employee with health care, retirement and all the other perks including something like 13 paid days off besides a generous vacation allowance, sits in her office and every two months punches a few keys on a computer that prints and sends out our water bills.
There are 5,000 homes in Grosse Pointe Woods. Each one has to pay $2 for each of 6 billings a year. What's $12 times 5,000? I'll save you the trouble. It's $60,000 a year that's rolled into our water bills as just another "fee."