Sunday, January 8, 2017


EXTENDING THE CONVERSATION

Both Montoya and Barton posted commentary on stories which need an extension of the discussion. I am not challenging either post, just trying to extend the discussion.  Also Barton has an awesome new logo.

BPUB RATES

I am not a fan of Monday morning quarterbacking.  But once something fails, we should face it.  BPUB needs to refund the money collected for Tenaska.  But here is where I want to extend the conversation and effectively repost a story I did nearly a year ago concerning the BPUB fuel surcharge on our bill.


There is no justification for the $30+ surcharge on my BPUB for fuel.  My research shows in 2003 the BPUB raised the rate to cover an increase in fuel.  This is separate from the fuel surcharge.  Given that fuel is set at about $50.00 a barrel, compared to a high of $125 in 2012, there is no justification for the fuel surcharge..  Click for chart.

I do not care who the candidate is, if they will not commit to removing the fuel surcharge from our BPUB bill they should not receive the support of the people.  The city commission will never vote to remove the surcharge because they rely on the money as part of their cut from the BPUB.  If they want to raise taxes, let them do it in a transparent way, or learn to manage the city on its budget without using a back door tax such as the unjust fuel surcharge.

PETE SEPULVEDA

Barton is correct, Pete certainly knew the rules, but for me that is not the bigger issue.  Of course, I have yet to see an ounce of evidence Pete Sepulveda was part of this deal other than what is in the indictment, so while he should have known better, I have yet to see evidence he knew what was happening.  So in my eyes he remains innocent until proven guilty.

BUT MY ISSUE

This has been going on far too long.  Montoya outlined a great story on the problem and how long it has been around. Sometimes the law gets in the way of the right thing.  I am not saying breaking the law is the answer, I am just saying let's look at the full picture so we can solve the problem. 

One reason people like to live in the county versus a city is the lack of regulation concerning building homes or businesses.  You can build a million dollar home in the county, and the next day find out someone is going to put in a used car parts business next door.

I am not suggesting the state should mandate regulations similar to those cities have.  But I am tired of the state and county getting caught in having to pick up the bill for roads and services because builders go unregulated on county land.  But I am also sympathetic to homeowners who through financial necessity were forced to build or buy in these areas.  In this country people deserve roads.

We have some regulations but not enough.  I do not care if you own the land.  If you or the builder are not going to spend the money for an access road to the home or business you are building you should not be allowed to build. 

Texas has made great strides in dealing with the colonia areas, but mostly at the cost of the taxpayer.  It is time the county and the state end the business of building homes or businesses on dirt roads.  All construction should be banned on dirt roads until an access road is first installed.  I know this will add to the cost of construction, but if we do not impose this policy, sooner than later the taxpayers will be asked to pick up the tab.  It is one thing for the county to have to repair an existing road of a taxpayer, and yet another for the county to have to put in the road in the first place.

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