Opinion

Opinion

Letter to the editor: Billing option

December 27, 2017

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Thank you, Mike Amyx! You continue to look out for Lawrence residents who are less fortunate and viewed as invisible. It is petty to spend so much of our city staff time and City Commission’s energy focused on efforts to eliminate a program that costs the city $2,500 a month.

After a year of efforts led by our new city manager to organize and make our city government more functional, this decision seems ridiculous. A service that makes it easier for the city to get paid should be encouraged, not eliminated. Mike Amyx is right; we should be creating more ways, not fewer, for citizens to pay their bills conveniently.

Utility bill manager Kristen Webb needs to learn more about these 600 people who pay their utility bills at the grocery stores and why they pay them there. Surely, contacting these folks via email or a postcard would cost less than the monthly $2,500. Eliminating a program without understanding why it’s being used is foolish. Unfortunately, this situation looks as if there is a staff member who doesn’t like doing this activity as part of their job. That is not a reason to eliminate the program.

Please, City Manager Markus, continue to focus your efforts on the big picture, like collecting those past-due bills that businesses didn’t pay and not eliminating a program that helps citizens pay their bills conveniently.

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