Speak Up! - 01/23/06

Letters to the Editor - 01/23/06

Does anybody care about our mail?

I was amazed to read the article by Lorin McLain (Jan. 3), “The check is in the Mail – really.” Mr. McLain echoes my experience in getting my mail in a timely manner, particularly my monthly bills – cable, gas, electric, insurance invoices.

I am certain he and I are not the only residents in Kingman who have experienced this alarming situation. At first, I thought it was my mail carrier’s fault that my mail was not coming to me on a regular and timely basis. Not until I read Mr. McLain’s column did it occur to me that I was not paranoid nor was I alone in my experiences with mail delivery. It would seem that the decision to move the stamping machine from Kingman to Las Vegas last fall might may well be the culprit.

Had the loss or misplacement of mail (bills/invoices) occurred on only one occasion in the past four months, it could be understandable, but this is happening every single month! Three months ago, it was an insurance premium notice that I never received; two months ago, it was my electric bill (second time for electric), and this month, it is my cable bill. I am contacting the utility companies myself to get my billing information and hope I have not already incurred late charges. This is maddening! How in the world does the mail get lost, particularly since the utility companies tell me they indeed mailed the bill on a specific date?

The increase in population here in Kingman probably does have an impact on the postal system. However, when I mail something in Kingman to a utility company located here, it is difficult to understand why it goes all the way to Las Vegas to be stamped before it is delivered back to Kingman. The utility companies must also go through the same process, adding a few more days before delivery to the customer. The customer gets a double whammy because not only are we receiving the invoices later, the date the invoice is to be paid (without incurring a late fee) does not change!

I, too, have e-mail, but that does not help in receiving invoices from utility and insurance companies in a timely fashion, nor does it ensure that my checks will get through the postal system in time to beat the due date.

Not receiving bills/invoices in a timely manner affects me as well as other residents in the Kingman area. Not only do we end up paying late fees, but then we must argue strenuously with the company service representative (“honest, we didn’t get the bill”), who understand that this is not the first, and it may not be the last, time they hear these words from me. Is anybody listening, or, does anybody care?

Penny Blaha

Kingman

City’s sales tax increase plan is a scam

The Kingman City Council and mayor have proposed and recommended a 1/2-cent city sales tax increase. Allegedly, this increase is necessary to finance future city services and the cost of proposed infrastructure to accommodate growth within the city. A recent financial report printed in the City of Kingman News and Notes reports:

“The city’s general fund receives revenues from a variety of sources. The largest single source of revenue is from the 2-percent local sales tax. During the 12 months ended Nov. 30, 2005, the city received $12,589,216 from this source. This is a 16.96-percent increase ($1,825,792) over the amount received from Dec. 1, 2003, through Nov. 30, 2004 ($10,763,424).” In all probability, this trend will continue, creating as much as a 20- to 25-percent increase for the next 12 months. A 25-percent increase would cause this revenue to increase to $15,736,520. This is 15.7 million! These increases will continue as long as there is growth in the area. With the projected increase of sales tax revenue, is it necessary to increase the city sales tax 1/2-cent now? I don’t think so. The City Council had several public forums where citizens expressed their opposition to this tax increase. Several automobile dealers expressed the negative effects this increased sales tax would have on their businesses. Instead of having an up or down vote on this tax, the City Council tabled the issue for a later date. It is my best guess that this vote will occur after the forthcoming election so that they will not be held accountable for this tax increase.

Another issue to be considered is that probably about 30 percent of people that pay this city sales tax live outside the city limits. For them, it’s taxation without representation.

A sure remedy to this issue would be to vote out the City Council and mayor in the forthcoming election. The old adage still holds true: “A New Broom Sweeps Clean.”

Glenn Litscher

Kingman