Joe and Jane ready for water cost resolution


That would describe the average Joe and Jane’s perspective from the street regarding the dispute between City of Alpena and Alpean Township officials over water costs.

Joe and Jane could care less who is a wholesaler, who isn’t. They care not how the system works or what the historical perspective to the dispute is. All they care about is having water to drink, to bath in and to flush the toilet. And, ultimately, how much is it going to cost them for the privilege of being able to do so.

Having read all about the dispute between the two government entities for months now, their question is this: “Why has it gone this far without a resolution? Everyone knows the position each body was taking, so why hasn’t a compromise been hammered out by now?”

From a legal perspective the city needed to bill the township the new costs and the township needed to respond, by paying only the old rates. Both needed to draw their lines in the sand so the lawyers can step in next and file the appropriate paperwork to send the dispute to the courts.

Certainly it seems headed in that direction.

Meanwhile Joe and Jane stand on the sidelines and shrug, frustrated again with yet another level of government bureaucracy. They’ve come to expect it elsewhere but here, in their backyard, they wonder why.

Bring the parties together, sit them down at a table and lock the door until they’ve resolved their differences and can reach a resolution that is fair for everyone. That would be the common sense approach to this problem.

Then again, that’s asking for a lot sometimes.