Rate increase would hardly be noticed on typical water bill
Every time you turn on the TV, you must listen to the rant about increased water rates. Nine out of 10 customers have no idea that the bill they receive from Kentucky American Water is not just a water bill but is also a sanitary sewage fee imposed by the city and collected under contract by the water company.
If you analyze your bill, you will find that about 55 percent goes to the city for sanitary sewage service, other taxes and other fees imposed on the water company.
When Kentucky American raises its fees, the city does not get an automatic increase, so this percentage will change a small amount.
The water company made a terrible decision to bill for the city, and then compounded it by structuring a bill that does not clearly and accurately show how the funding is split.
This is a big advantage for the city, as it has no easy vehicle to collect these fees if you refuse to pay. But with a combined bill, the water company can cut off your service.
So don't put all the blame for the increase on the water company.
Donald R. Fugette
I have disagreed with Rep. Ben Chandler on a few issues, but I have never doubted he genuinely cares for Kentuckians and works for their best interests.
My problem with his challenger, Andy Barr, is not Barr's wealthy and privileged background but that he seemingly lacks empathy for citizens outside his social orbit. The visuals used in his ads continually portray a world in which the non-white and the less fortunate do not exist.
It is clear from his campaign Web site that he believes the role of government is to promote and protect the interests of the wealthy and corporations.
He advocates a continuation of taxation and deregulation policies that benefit the wealthy and corporations but have led to the worst financial crisis of our lifetime and to the growing marginalization of the poor and middle class.
Think again before you vote for David O'Neill, a Steve Beshear political appointee, for Fayette County property valuation administrator.
The appointee will admit he loves his job. Who wouldn't if they were in his shoes? No experience or education needed and making over $100,000 in salary and benefits?
Please don't vote for O'Neill unless you research his law-breaking driving background. And consider his lowering of property assessments has been good for slumlords. How nice.
Hold your fire
It was said of a self-destructive Irish poet that he was "like a man in a lifeboat firing on his rescuers." It seems as if Tea Party followers' attacks on government might place some Kentuckians in the same boat.
Kentucky is a poor state, ranking 12th among the states in dependence on federal funding. Of the $27 billion in state government's executive branch budget last fiscal year, $12 billion, or 42 percent, was federal funds.
Individual Kentuckians depend on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. What we received for nutrition assistance placed us 17th among the states although we rank 26th in population.
Maybe, then, government spending is sometimes very important for the common good rather than coming from Public Enemy No. 1.
Ben Chandler and Jack Conway understand our lifeboat situation. They are too honest about that dilemma to cater to the government-as-enemy mentality.
It has always taken guts to throw one's hat into the political arena, but I believe never more so than today. So while respecting Ben Chandler's opponent, I believe Chandler has represented his district in a thoughtful and professional manner.
While also respecting those people in the coal industry who seem to oppose Chandler, I believe his actions in regard to the clean energy and clean water acts will benefit Kentucky far into the future.
Coal is the fuel that powers Kentucky today, and I respect those who work to bring it to market. But few could argue that we could not do better in providing a cleaner source of energy. Coal will someday cease to be a major energy source.
Chandler has looked into that future, and voted for our children and grandchildren. I like those who can think beyond their lifetimes.
Term limits, really?
I recently saw a Rand Paul TV ad calling for term limits for members of Congress. Interestingly, I don't remember him saying how long he thought they ought to be able to serve. And so I have some questions for Paul.
Should Mitch McConnell and Hal Rogers still be members of Congress or would the term limits Paul would like to see mean that they should no longer be there?
McConnell has been in the Senate since 1985 and Rogers has served as the Somerset-area representative since 1981. Should these men be disqualified from service because of how long they have been in Congress?
Tell me in black and white. Until I hear answers to these questions, how can I possibly take Paul seriously?
Or is Paul another instance of a candidate making vague promises he can't fulfill?
If you take money away from each state's education programs, is it going to help our country's progress? Of course not. With our nation's economy in the shape it's in, this would destroy the future of our children and the United States.
The future of building our country starts with education. It's crazy to think anyone would come up with an idea of eliminating the Education Department just to save a little money.
Kentucky gets more money back from the federal government than it pays in. Rand Paul's proposal to close the lifeblood of Kentucky's major resource centers makes him look as if he is from another planet. This would kill the opportunities that the future prosperity of the state and our citizens depend on.