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Are taxpayers getting what they pay for?

Editor;

Let me state at the beginning of this letter that I am not now, or at anytime in the future, considering running for any political office here in Picayune. I felt it necessary to make that statement due to a recent quote in the Picayune Item by a city councilman who remarked that “comments shared at last week’s public hearing made him believe that people in the city want the city to go broke because of political aspirations.” Believe me, sir, I do not wish that for our city or it’s citizens.

I read with interest Wayne Gouguet’s recent letter to the editor in the Picayune Item. One question he raised was a concern that the millage increase was necessary so as to cover losses by the city’s utility department. That was the same question I raised at the city council’s meeting earlier this month.

I cannot understand how the Utility Department is losing money in light of the prices we pay, especially for natural gas. In March of 2007, I brought to the council’s attention that Picayune residents were paying higher cost per thousand cubic feet (of natural gas) than the Mississippi average. This can be verified by visiting the Department of Energy Statistics web page at: http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/dnav/ng/ng_pri_sum_dcu_SMS_m.htm. On average, Picayune citizens pay $8-9 more per ccf (thousand cubic feet) than other Mississippi residents. Why is this?

Accountability, fiscal responsibility, and ethical management should be at the forefront of any administration. We need to ask if our tax dollars are being spent wisely and are we getting what we pay for?

Earl J. Fox, Jr.