To the Editor:

We’ve always enjoyed the small town feel since moving to Keizer 8 years ago.  The occasional encounters with city employees have always been a positive.  As it should be.  We own a home and pay our taxes  and we all want to be treated fairly.  That attitude of service has not filtered down to the Water Department who treated us as deadbeat trash when we missed a payment.  Our payment is set to automatically pay a fixed higher amount than the actual bill, but the number of payments to make went to zero and it was not caught.  Our bad, and we owed a whopping $46.  The issue could be solved with a heads-up in some manner like a post card or phone call and any other utility would just tack on a late fee and add it to the next bill.

My thinking is the KWD is using a missed payment as a cash-cow by shutting off the water the day after the due date at our expense for their profit.  By holding a needed commodity over our heads, the sky’s the limit.  After settling up with the drone on the phone, and paying $46 plus and “additional charge” of $35 and a “after hours fee” of $87 to turn the water on, our episode cost $168, over triple the original bill.  Nice.  Well worth the wage, gas, vehicle to make the trip twice.  Without these fees, would we need to raise the rates or reduce the labor force?  Is this the best the City can do for us?

I can live with a reasonable late fee but give us a chance to make good on the bill.

Russell Walton