Is The City's Water Shut-off Policy Clumsy and Too Heavy-handed ?

No sir my problem wasn’t the bank and the disconnect service at all, as I plainly stated in my emails, my problem stems from someone who might have a “late” payment for whatever reason it is that causes that, personal concern, monetary problems, etc., the problem exists where you are “late” perhaps one time and the next thing you get in the mail is a disconnect notice without PRIOR notice that this could in fact happen.  As I stated, many reason exist for a late payment, some valid, some not, its not the water departments responsibility to discern why a payment is late, I get that, rather my problem came from simply being late on a payment and without prior notification I got a notice that said by a certain day ( in fact the next day ) my service would be shutoff.  Why?, because I missed 3 payments in a row, I hadn’t paid in 6 months perhaps, no?, simply because I was late on a payment with no said history of bill/payment problems, that was my concern.

 Regarding the frequency of the box checks, someone is feeding either you or I a line of BS, I specifically dropped off a check the morning of my supposed scheduled shutoff to avoid a problem, that same after noon at approximately 4 I spoke personally with the SUPERVISOR of that department on the phone because the money hadn’t yet been credited to my account, she told me in no uncertain terms that quote, ” we only check it once a day, approximately 8 AM for any drop off payments”.  
At that point I drove over to the utilities office, was greeted by a very nice young lady who then went back into the supervisors office to retrieve my check, she handed it to me, I handed it back to her and asked her pleasantly to credit the payment to my account which she did.
I’m not sure who is feeding you the “we check it several  times a day line “, but I was told something completely different in person and on the phone.  
Just to summarize my problem isn’t with shutoff of service persay but with the application of how its done, you simply don’t threaten to shut off someone’s service without prior notification and for a valid reason, and personally a possibly “late” payment with no history of missing payments doesn’t add up.

Jim Anderson

Mr. Anderson: Be assured there is not a connection between your concerns about your water bill and a miss pickup of garbage service. We will make sure the City’s contractor is aware that they have missed your home.
I did talk with the Finance Director about your water bill concerns.  If I understand it correctly one of your concerns was that you had received a disconnect notice and you had already scheduled a draft payment with your bank.   The challenge with draft payments are that you are dependent on the bank and the mail service to deliver your payment on time.   While I recognize you are a good customer we try to design  a collection policy that is fair to all customers.
Your other issue is the frequency that we check the box for payments.   Normally we do check the box several times a day. The sign on the box is for the cases that workload prevents us for doing that.   We don’t want customers thinking they have made a payment to only find out the payment wasn’t applied  until later in the day resulting in service being disconnected.   If a payment is time sensitive we encourage  folks to use the drive thru or the customer service area to insure we do not have a problem in posting payments.
If you have any additional questions please advise.
Greg Kisela

I worked for the city as a part time employee of the Recreation Department for approximately 14 years as an evening event supervisor and loved every minute of it.  I have many friends still that are  current employees, those I spoke too about this in confidence agreed that PO still has many internal issues from the fallout of Warren Pike and incorrect water fee collection issues.  That apparently has made things a cut and dry, black and white regime in dealing with utilities and such, personal issues should and need to be built in for the human touch in dealing with a city service situation, it used to be that way, it no longer is unfortunately.



Mr. Anderson:
Over the past year the City has established new  policies and procedures to provide more effective internal controls.  Some of these were recommendations from the City’s external auditor and some were best practices introduced by management.  I am sorry you feel that this has somewhat reduced our external customer service.  That was not our intent.
Greg Kisela
City Manager

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