To the editor:
The Ash Fork Sanitary District removed “Call to the Public” from their April agenda. A board member stated there would be no more opportunities to speak because the meetings had become hostile.
Since I tape all these public meetings, I would gladly share with the public who was hostile at the March meeting. A board member berated a 78-year-old woman in the audience for asking a question about an existing sewer system. Finally, after a few minutes, another board member cut him off and adjourned the meeting. The third member sat mute and never said a word as this elderly woman was ‘put in her place.’ Those in attendance were told to put their questions in writing with a legible signature and the board would address them.
My letter to the Ash Fork Sanitary District asked several questions about their project to provide loans to people in Ash Fork to upgrade cess pools or septic systems using 2016 tax payer money collected from property taxes:
When are you planning to propose this project to the Ash Fork community?
Was there a community assessment completed to determine a need for this type of program?
How many people do you estimate need financial assistance in replacing their cess pool?
What criteria determines who qualifies for the loans?
Who will determine what people/family gets the loans? Based on need? Based on a lottery system?
Who will monitor if the taxpayer loan money is spent on a septic system? Site visits? Is it possible that the loan money could be spent on something else (trip to Hawaii, debt) when the homeowner states the new system was installed but the money was used for something else?
Will the Sanitary District have to pay someone to monitor the installation? If so, what is a tentative budget for that expense?
When someone defaults on their loan, who’s in charge of filing a lien against their property?
Who will send out monthly statements for the loans and do the bookkeeping? Is this a line item in the budget?
What type of paper work will be required of those who would like to apply for a loan?
When is the tentative start date for giving out loans?
Unfortunately, I have no answers as the May 3, 2017, meeting was canceled – the second canceled meeting since the beginning of 2017. Am I the only taxpayer that is starting to smell a rat?
Rosemary Brockman Hume
Taxpayer of Ash Fork Sanitary District