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Letter: public discussion cut-short; questions go unanswered

To the editor:

Do you realize Ash Fork taxpayers, that for the past 11 months, the Ash Fork Sanitary Board has spent just 151 minutes conducting their meetings? That’s an average of 13.7 minutes a monthly meeting. With time given for roll call, minutes read, chairman’s report, treasurer’s report and correspondence, it does not leave much time left to discuss and inform the public of how the Sanitary Board is using taxpayer money for the cess pool/septic loan project.

In the 17-minute July 2016, meeting, the Ash Fork Sanitary Board “...explained what the board wanted to do about old cesspools.” My question is when did the Ash Fork Sanitary Board discuss there was a problem or a need to address cess pool/upgrade sanitary sewers? Not at any public meetings. In fact, two audience participants asked questions and were told the idea was still in the planning stages. The minutes state, “...will have to work out particulars with attorney. More info next meeting.” What particulars? Should this taxpayer project not be an open discussion with taxpayers listening to information being presented?

At the next meeting, August 2016, the board voted to raise our taxes for this project. A project still in the planning stages with no public discussion taken place. How did they know how much money they would need for this project? When was the board discussing the budget for this project? At the meeting, they only discussed the assessment valuation. The audience participants’ questions about this project from July were not addressed. In fact, 11 months later, audience participants’ questions about this cess pool/septic system loan program have not been addressed. No questions answered, no public dissemination of the loan program and how it will work, 2016 tax payer money collected and waiting to be spent at 4 percent interest rate. Am I the only taxpayer who sees a flaw in this situation?

Rosemary Hume

Ash Fork resident

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