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Agencies should strive to do better job | Letter
As the current president of the Lakehaven Utility District board of commissioners, I wanted to thank Matthew Jarvis for his recent column grading the local government agencies in this community.
As providers of important local services and stewards of significant public resources, we deserve and should expect this scrutiny, both as a simple matter of accountability for the public funds we spend and as a valuable source of feedback from those we are privileged to serve.
While I only have direct familiarity with Lakehaven, I do believe, based upon my experience as a commissioner and as a member of this community, that each of the four agencies reviewed in the article make every effort to deliver services in a reliable, efficient and responsible manner.
As Matt suggests, however, the public is not always aware of the good work that is being done in local government. This may be because we are too focused on performing the job to recognize the need to communicate about it.
Or, in a related sense, it may be that we fail to appreciate that the public wants to hear our story. Whatever the reason is, it is important that we make more of an effort to keep our customers informed about the important work we do.
While I believe we are all doing a good job, I also believe that we can, and should, find ways to do a better job. As Matt points out, the board and staff at Lakehaven take a great amount of pride in the fact that we have some of the lowest water and sewer rates in the state. We recently made a presentation to the Chamber of Commerce about the district.
We included details comparing our rates to neighboring water and sewer service providers and described the ample capacity we have developed in our utility systems to handle future growth. We know that it is important to get this word out. As the grade from Matt suggests, however, the Chamber presentation is only a start and we need to expand the circle of information sharing to better inform our larger customer base.
The short of it is that we are taking Matt’s comments to heart at Lakehaven and are evaluating how we might better communicate with our customers. The first order of business will be to upgrade our website to make it a better tool to inform the public.
There are certainly other ways we can make a difference in this area and we will make this a priority. You can bet that with a “B” as our mid-term grade, we’re looking for an “A” on the final.
Timothy A. McClain, board president