Letter to the Editor

The death of a small town

Sunday, July 15, 2012

To the Editor:

The Town of Staunton is going through major changes, which in the end, will probably result in its death.

At last month's town board meeting, there was on the table, a water rate increase and sewage increase.

Because of the fact that people who are in the town did not feel it proper to raise the water rates of the people in town and not raise the rates of those who live outside of Staunton, the water increase was tabled until next meeting and so that additional research could be done to check the possibility of a more equal rate raise for both parties.

The angry mob at the meeting was satisfied with that, which seemed to make them think the board was trying to do the increase fairly.

Fast forward to this month's meeting. No angry mob, no reading of the rate increase proposal, no discussion, just a vote to raise the rates for the people in town and nothing for those who get the same water who live out of town.

So now, this town of people on fixed incomes has been hit with a water rate increase and a sewage increase.

I know that I now have a problem with paying the higher bills, was barely hanging on as it was.

My bill averaged $100 a month and we do not have trash pickup included, nor a police department.

As I have heard several people ask, do I pay for food, medicine, or my water/sewage bill? Can I get help from my township trustee? I don't know, but based on what others have told me, the township trustee will be of no help.

Also, not knowing the proper rules on this, shouldn't the water rate increase have been read prior to the vote (Monday)? If so, the board did not follow proper protocol.

I was there, the rate increase proposal was not read before the vote. I barely knew what they were voting on because the president was very low toned. He just called for the vote, not reading or discussion of rate increase proposal.

Hmm, mental note to self: Check on validity of vote (Monday).

People of Staunton, we need to stand up and fight for the right to keep our small town that we have raised our children in.

We moved here because of the charm and the fact that in small towns like ours, we have watched out for each others' children and homes. Now, we are coming to the reality that our small town may become dust in the wind.

People will not buy houses here with our outrageous water/sewage bills and the fact you can't drink the water. Once I find out if the vote of water increase (Monday) was valid or not, I will share that with you.

If it is not valid, then we must come forward and be present at the meetings so that the town board does not slip it past us. If we want this small town lifestyle for our children's children, we must be willing to fight for it.

Stuck at a crossroad.

Deborah Montague,