The reason the city has amassed $17 million in unpaid water invoices is because a customer cannot get his water bill in a timely manner.
I called the water department on May 1 to get a final reading on my deceased mother's service. I have called several times to see why I hadn't received the bill. The second time, I was told it took two weeks to a month to get the final bill but they were working on it. On May 20, I called and a person told me it would take six to eight weeks to get the bill. They had not even started processing my request.
So as I see it, many clients would have been willing to pay their final bills had they received a billing promptly. After six to eight weeks, the clients are long gone and no longer care if this obligation is fulfilled.
I tried contacting the new department head, Tom Kroma, but had to leave a message. Perhaps if he has an inkling of the inconceivable delay in billing, he can make some changes.
Helen E. Read
Here's an idea: Let's return the police, firefighters, and all other city workers to their jobs and lay off the mayor. List "inability to perform job functions in a satisfactory manner" as the reason on his unemployment documents. Let him find a job in the chaotic environment he has created.
At first John Demjanjuk was absolutely, positively Ivan the Terrible. Millions of dollars and many years were spent to prosecute him. After initially finding him guilty, the Israeli courts sorted through the fake evidence and false testimony to find him innocent. Now more of the same.
When you ask why, the response is "we must" because this was a crime against humanity. If that's so, how is it that not one cent has been spent to bring to justice the communists who killed 15 million Ukrainians? Are they worried what they might find?
John Demjanjuk was a poor, uneducated peasant kid who was abused and taken at gunpoint to serve in the Soviet army. He was wounded and caught by the Nazis and abused at gunpoint. Now he's being abused by the U.S. and German governments. That is a crime against a human.
News flash: The leaders of the health-care industry just announced that they will sacrifice to help President Obama's reform initiative by cutting their projected increases for the next 10 years by 1.5 percent, saving a bazillion dollars. That is, if Mr. Obama plays ball and grants all their yet-to-be-announced demands.
Just in time, I might add, because incredibly whoever has the crystal ball that predicts future prices has estimated that increases for the next 10 years will be even larger than previous years by about that same 1.5 percent.
But, in order for health leaders to go along, Democrats must drop their silly idea that the American citizenry would benefit from the same single-payer health-care plan that the other large civilized nations of the world now enjoy.
Politicians on both sides of the aisle applauded the offer by industry and enthusiastic Republicans said that finally they had an issue that they could join with Democrats to support - possibly with a vote or two.
Finally, America will get the best health care Machiavellians can design without cuts to the profits that drug and insurance companies, hospitals, doctors, and stockholders deserve.
Not to be overlooked, the flow of campaign contributions to politicians will continue uninterrupted, with a possible bonus for the players.
William F. Hoffmann
The Blade's May 10 editorial concerning the UT point-shaving scandal expresses the disappointment and frustration of the Toledo community. But good editorials offer insight and wisdom rather than knee-jerk platitudes: "The university needs to demonstrate that it has taken steps to make certain it won't happen again."
"Certain?" Human behavior doesn't come with guarantees. If it did, there would be no academic cheating scandals at service academies, no prison rapes, no marital infidelity, no political shenanigans.
The editorial indicts coaches for negligence: "But where were the coaches and assistant coaches when their athletes were making friends and hanging out with professional gamblers?"
Even vigilant parents often fail to detect the offenses of teenagers bent on smoking, drinking, gambling, getting high, speeding, what have you. Without evidence of their culpability (the editorial offers none), we should not assign blame to the school and its coaches.
That said, spurred by the shame and heightened awareness associated with this scandal, they will certainly do a better job of discouraging dishonesty.
Blame belongs to the gamblers and the offending athletes. Yet, for the athletes, at least, we might spare a bit of compassion. Their promising young lives are in ruin - and will be for a long time.
Jon F. Patton
Rob Ludeman wrote a letter expressing his opposition to the nine-person City Council reorganization plan. Some things should be noted. Mr. Ludeman's motives are suspect since it is known he is going to seek a return to council as an at-large councilman. His pronouncement is nothing but self-serving.
The new plan would save about four police officers, and it does address budget issues and help focus on key city services. The new councilmen who proposed this are looking out for the budget. This plan corrects the flaws in the current system by insuring representation across the city rather than being concentrated in the western half.
One last thing: Many cities have all-district councils, such as Pittsburgh, which has nine members and which is, ironically, the home of The Blade's sister newspaper. The city of Pittsburgh is being managed just fine from what I can tell.
As a self-described fiscal conservative, Mr. Ludeman must agree that we have too many councilmen. If the city of Columbus, with double our population, manages its affairs with seven members, then surely Toledo can do it with nine.
Yes, Mr. Ludeman, nine is fine.
We are seriously contemplating moving to the Toledo area for the entertainment value of the ongoing Cartyitis, which seems to infect everything in Toledo.
At least y'all are never bored and you will never suffer with low blood pressure. You will note I said Toledo area (we wouldn't want to actually live anywhere under his authority).
We are kept supplied with Carty items by a relative who lives there. The Little Book of Carty was the best gift I've received in years.
As a Chrysler retiree, you will not get any tears from me about the Korean auto worker.
It s too bad they can t dump more KIAs on our market. As Lee Iacocca said, free trade should be fair, not a one-way street for Korea, Japan, and China.
James L. Fry