A Democracy Marches on its Education and Information
Commissioner Tommy Adkisson
September 25, 2003
In Precinct Four as is the case with probably most public officials, we do a lot of circular communicating. I'm not referring to the kind that gets you nowhere; although that may as in life, seem to be the case at times. I'm referring to constituents sharing their information, opinions and questions with us and us sharing ours with them. The following is with minor changes, the sum and substance of a recent e-mail sent to me and my response.
- "Just a note to let you and your colleagues know that many Bexar County residents are upset and extremely disappointed with our county representatives.
- Recently there had been an excessive windfall due to CPS overpayments. The only people who benefited from this are San Antonio "City" residents. Bexar County residents are CPS ratepayers also.
- While we realize the City of San Antonio owns the utility, We would like to know why no one made an effort to approach the city to share the windfall to benefit the city and county alike in these times of troubled budgets and deficits. This could have been an excellent tool to solve the Jail Guard issue and Detention Officer raises. If not that, something else positive for the county.
- When the decision was made by Mayor Ed Garza not to do a rebate back to all CPS customers this should have been immediately pursued.
- The Mayor and Judge Nelson Wolf always appear in public as they have this "partnership" in matters, but the relationship apparently didn't matter in this.
- As county residents we overpaid and our money due to us went to help someone else. There have been class action suits against companies who overcharge and keep the profits as unjust indifference to the customer. If our elected county officials can't look out for their constituents we need to look elsewhere for support. Maybe this should be a course of action or filing a complaint with the PUCO [Public Utility Commission].
- The perception is Bexar County Officials stood by and did nothing!! That is sad.
- I am not just one upset Bexar County resident this issue was raised at a meeting attended by Bexar County residents.
- What's done is done, but I'm sure residents will keep this in mind come election time.
- In the future, I suggest on behalf of Bexar County residents you fight vigorously that if our money is not going to be refunded to us then at least get control of it and make it work for us in some other capacity.
- Residents are worried that since this worked so well this year that this is going to become standard practice for the City of San Antonio to solve their budget problems and county residents will continue to get ripped off.
- I would appreciate any comments you may have that I could take back to these residents.
- Thanks for listening-
Concerned Bexar County Resident"
"I will look into this in more detail and let you know what I find out.
Government is a partnership with plenty of responsibility to fill a lifetime and a community.
With a world of issues and a fairly endless list which are felt with the same passion your letter reflects, emphasis is given based upon a sense of how important the many issues are to our constituents. That's why letters from people like you are important.
Some officials do not respond to anonymous letters like this but I would like to give it a shot. This is not the first time this issue has been raised. I would surmise that it has been raised many times over the last twenty years or more. Still, I am willing to ask questions in search of a solution. It is a worthy issue.
Thanks again for your note."
Stay tuned for my response in the next edition or very near future!