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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : opinions : letters November 20, 2014

6/22/2013 11:07:00 AM
Letter: City spending out of control, water service not up to par


The complaints of gouging by the water company are very valid I do believe. Yes, the Verde Villages have voted against being annexed into the City. The County does a good job on our roads and other needs. This seems to be an attempt to try to force the issue of annexation. We did not vote or want the city of Cottonwood to take over our water systems. Our water was reasonable and drinkable. We have never had our water cut back since we've lived here nearly 13 years. Our water was drinkable and the service was pretty good as far as I know.

Then the city of Cottonwood thought it would be a good idea to buy all the wells, which made them a monopoly. Out water rates immediately got an increase and our water is now non-drinkable. We and most others have to buy drinking water elsewhere. It seems they should owe us at least $2 a day for our drinking water. Yes, I as well as many others have called and written them and they more or less say tough luck, you live in the Verde Valley. We have "never" had a day without water.

You say we're getting superior service now. I do not think you know what the word superior means. I cannot even run the humidifier as it covers my walls and doors with a heavy residue.

It seems the city was so greedy to buy all the wells they could get for the income, but when it came to providing decent water they did not want the expense. As far as the bonds go they should have checked and not gone overboard with buying wells.

I was told if I wanted better drinking water to hire someone to come and drill down inside our meter line and put filters in. Because after all I lived in the Verde Valley and they could do nothing about the water as it was too expensive.

Well, it's too expensive for us to have to buy our drinking water! It seems our city is going the way of our Federal Government. Spend, spend, and spend some more and pass it on to the taxpayers. It seems like we had a 1-percent sales tax increase a couple years back to be temporary. That has never been removed. Also, the city has given some pretty good sized salary increases, bought several buildings and the list goes on.

Yes, we're pretty mad over the rate increase and it was not us that caused your bonds to be downgraded. It was the city themselves. Overspending, salary increases and the list goes on.

Our city is out of control and it's not fair to pass it on to taxpayers. Give some of your salary increases back and cut your spending. Everyone else has had to except for the government.

Joanna Wakefield


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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, June 24, 2013
Article comment by: Even the previous water company owner on the council agreed-

That the units have been getting a price break and they coat more to serve.

Folks can moan the blues all they like... but at the end of the day they will still turn on the tap and flush the throne.

Aside from that the units really need to stop thinking folks want to annex them. The only reason to consider it might be so that they stop complaining about it.

They are probably a lot more work than they are worth as evidenced by the comments in the paper. How ironic would it be if ~THEY~ actually decided to pursue annexation just to spite the city...and the city said noooo thanks.

Doug Barney pretty much nails it...

Posted: Monday, June 24, 2013
Article comment by: Johnny Johnson

I agree. The water is of poor quality. I have to service my cooler every month due to the unbelieveable amount of residue in the water. What is in this water? Not sure I want to know - no way I would drink it. The price is also extremely high for what we receive. I'm certain the idea of reducing rates has never even crossed their minds.

Posted: Monday, June 24, 2013
Article comment by: Maybe I missed something

@ Doug Blarney

I am not sure how long you have lived here but the city has tried for annexation before, every few years they take it out and see if it will fly 'this time.'

Yes, it does have to come from the Verde Villages, but I guess you don't know how politics work? (Or maybe you do.)

It starts with a bunch of Editorials from this paper for annexation. Then the 'powers that be' find some wannabe politicians that live in the Verde Villages, they usually hold office on the "Property Owners Association" to help promote it. They write letters and post online comments like yours.

Then they tell us 'we will have a voice' (like anyone in Cottonwood really does), there will be no property tax and we would not be paying for police and fire protection (so they are 'all-volunteer' agencies for Cottonwood now?).

Then they buy our water company promising us better service, equalizer payments (?), more safety (chlorine?), etc. etc. They raise our rates and when we complain, they tell us we would have a voice if we were annexed.

What they DON'T tell you is that you will be responsible for a $3000 to $4000 sewer hook up fee even though there is nothing wrong with your septic tank and that they are under no obligation to actually hook up that sewer . . . ever.

They don't tell you that there will be Cottonwood taxes to pay on your cable, electric, gas, phone, garbage bills and every other service that you pay for.

They also don't tell you that their salaries are based on population, which would be doubled with the annexation of the Verde Villages. (Woot, automatic raises for all!)

They don't tell you they will rescind the tax on food, which is a regressive tax that proportionally hurts the poor (afterall there is still Cornville to fleece).

I have never paid for police or the fire department as a Verde Village resident, my poor neighbor on a fixed income did not have to pay for an ambulance, that comes out of our property taxes. (Not sure where you got that.)

So just what is the advantage to annexation?

We get to have a voice (non-voice) about dog parks in our backyard, million dollar sewage systems in flood plains or building million dollar recreation centers during a recession (or depression) that only the wealthy can afford to use? Do council members, city employees and the mayor get free or discounted use, I wonder?

So, is it time for that 'dog and pony show' of annexation again?

No thank you. I will continue to pay my Cottonwood taxes on food and now water for the use of Cottonwood's amenities.

Personally, I would rather deal with Chip Davis on issues, than Cottonwood, he does not 'tell us' anything, he actually ACTS.

And we all know "Actions speak louder than words!"

Posted: Monday, June 24, 2013
Article comment by: sudo nim

gouging? lets talk gas prices! water is same as far as i can tell and still cheap compared to ever rising electricity. Salaries of city workers are well under normal from what i know. The fact that you missed that the1% tax just went away tells me you spout off without any facts. suggest you find a better outlet for your anger.

Posted: Sunday, June 23, 2013
Article comment by: City Can Spend More Because...

They can!!!

But if you give the city officials examples of how,
what and/or where to cut cost and debts they will
thank you for your inputs...and make the cuts.

Posted: Sunday, June 23, 2013
Article comment by: Doug Barney

Quite an interesting letter: thank you
What is really interesting about it of course is that the writer appears to think that the City wants to annex the Verde Villages.
1.The Villages have to request the annexation.
2.I donít believe that the Officials in Cottonwood want you. After all that would then give you a voice in how the City Government is run. Imagine if you did decide to annex you could elect your own Mayor and council Members. Not good.
3.Right now you are a nice source of income for the City, with no say in how it is run.
4.By the way of course since the City has no property tax you would pay less then you are now paying the County and you also would not be paying for Police and fire protection. But of course that is your choice.
5.So please continue to complain it is fun to read them.

Posted: Sunday, June 23, 2013
Article comment by: Slater Slater

My way or the Highway sayeth the Mayor.You
have a vote.USE IT.

Posted: Saturday, June 22, 2013
Article comment by: Bob Loblaw

One of the pleasures I got from moving to Rimrock from Cottonwood was knowing I would NEVER again have to pay an outrageous water bill from the City of Cottonwood!

Posted: Saturday, June 22, 2013
Article comment by: Gaia Gurl

And HOW the heck LONG is it going to take to get "EQUALIZER" payment systems?

We were PROMISED that when Cottonwood first TOOK over . . .

I use WAY more water during GARDENING season than the rest of the year!

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