Friday, July 27, 2007

Perception is reality. Selma needs to do a better job about appearances

If there is one thing that I have learned from several of my employers over the years is that perception is reality to everyone else. I tried to make a point of that a year ago when the town wanted to tear down an old rusted out water tank right down the street from my house. Personally, I couldn't have cared less whether or not we kept an old, almost useless structure or tore it down. The problem was that the town was in a financial bind, laid off employees, slashed budgets, but still wanted to spend money to tear down an old tower that had been in place for decades.

It is the same thing with the recent maintenance that went on with the town's water tank that IS in service. Here is the WMPM article:
Town Drains Water Tank For Maintenance - A number of Selma residents called town officials or dialed 911 on Thursday thinking there was a major water leak along Raiford Street near the town’s water tank. Selma Police were dispatched to the scene to investigate the calls that started coming in around 10am. Water filled most of Raiford Street near the railroad tracks. Town Manager Stan Farmer told WMPM there was no leak. Instead, public works crews started draining the water tank for scheduled maintenance, which includes cleaning the inside of the tank.

I hear constantly from citizens about their high utility bills here in Selma. Those bills are for water, sewer, electricity, and garbage collection. So, when it looks like the town may be wasting thousands of gallons of water, so much so that people complain, I get concerned. Just yesterday, I got a phone call from a Selma citizen who complained about their utility bills. Since I am running for public office and a columnist, I get phone calls like this from time to time.

There has to be a better way of draining a tank. For starters, there must be a way to simply stop filling it and allow normal usage drain it. In a time of drought, as we are currently experiencing here in North Carolina, there has to be a better way of using water than just letting it run into the street.

I realize that it is a necessary part of doing business. The town just needs to keep in mind that things like this make for irate citizens, especially when they pay the the town...during a drought.

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