They may have followed the letter of the law. The spirit? That’s another story.
The Bristol County Water Authority held a public hearing Thursday night to talk about what could amount to an effective 31 percent rate hike over the next five years. Almost nobody showed, though the meeting was publicized in these newspapers beforehand. More concerning than the lack of turnout at the hearing, though, was news that directors want to finalize any rate increase by January 9; after that day, several directors are leaving on vacation or for winter houses and won’t be available for a vote.
To this, we say: Are you kidding? Given such a large increase, we sincerely hope the authority does not rush in to instituting a new rate scale without giving the public an adequate chance to learn the facts, and speak its peace. Someone suggested at Thursday night’s hearing that water authority director Pam Marchand could write an op/ed in these papers stating her case for a rate hike. On behalf of the 50,000 residents who will soon be paying more for water, we would welcome it.