I am and have been a resident of Lincoln for 58 years and since Jan. 14, when I requested to have the city manager call me about an indiscretion about the way the city was billing its citizens for utilities and might be screwing them out of $7, he has refused to call me.
I didn’t know that City Hall and the city utility billing department were open on Sunday? It’s not!
Last month (January), the city used Sunday the 13 as a final day to pay a utility bill.
For all those who went and made the drop into the overnight drop box, how many residents received $7 door hangers the next day, Jan. 14 because the door hanger person left to do his or her job before the billing department took the overnight payments out of the overnight drop box?
I have that question for the City Manager, Mr. Estep, but he doesn’t want to talk to me about it so it’s time to go to the media about it.
Raymond Perez, Lincoln
City manager’s response
City Manager Jim Estep responded to this letter. Estep e-mailed his response to The News Messenger, which follows:
Raymond Perez “had a water bill billed Oct. 12 and due Dec. 1, which was unpaid. He had a water bill billed Nov. 12 and due Jan. 1, which was unpaid. He had a water bill billed Dec.12 and due Feb. 1, which was unpaid. A 10-day notice was sent out on Jan. 3 for the months of October and November due Sunday, Jan. 13 notifying him if his bill was not paid, his water would be shut off. Mr. Perez came in on Monday, Jan.14 after public services water technicians were dispatched to hang door hangers notifying him again that his water would be shut off in 48 hours if he didn’t pay his bill. There is a $7 fee for having to place the door hanger.
Mr. Perez is inferring that he put his payment into the overnight drop box prior to Jan 14, which he did not.
Someone from our utility billing staff spoke to Mr. Perez, followed by the utility billing supervisor. Anna (Jatzak, assistant city manager) also spoke to Mr. Perez for about 30 minutes trying to resolve his issue, including offering to drop the $7 charge which he declined and demanded to talk to the city manager. Mark Miller, public services director, also spoke to Mr. Perez to no avail. Everyone who could resolve his issue has spoken to him. I have not refused to speak to him but have not spoken to him until I have all of the facts.