A serious disadvantage of these modern times is being subjected to data overload. Once in a while, I get introduced to someone as a blogger. A person I was meeting on these terms the other day got this forlorn look on her face and said, "How are we supposed to deal with all the information that we're hit with nowadays?" Er, nice to meet you, too.
Anyway, tonight I'm cleaning out my overstuffed e-mail inbox before the server gods cut me off from the outside world. I'm finding lots of neat stuff in there that I wish I had the time to really get into, but it's a pipedream.
Several of the pieces of e-mail are newsletters from our local state legislators. I e-mailed these folks back when the Major League Baseball bill was floating around in the legislature a while ago, and once they have your e-mail address, they'll be sending you their takes on the latest doings in Salem until the day you die.
Representative Jeff Merkley (Dem.), from out east Portland way, had an interesting item in one of his latest newsletters about the hassle that his constituents are having with the City of Portland. Back when the city annexed these folks years ago, it promised them that they wouldn't get sucked into the black hole of paying for the city's woeful sewer problems -- the source of never-ending complaints from the beleaguered citizenry whose sewer bills have reached astronomical proportions.
Funny thing -- the city promised, but it didn't deliver. The east Portland folks still haven't gotten, and are worried that they're never going to get, the storm sewer discounts that they were assured they'd get. According to Merkley, the city keeps putting off implementing the discounts until it gets its billing system straightened out. The current schedule is for that to be achieved sometime shortly after hell freezes over.
Merkley wants the city to get on the ball and give his constituents what they were promised. His letter to City Hall is here (pdf). He adds, in his newsletter --
[A]ll citizens who are legally required to provide their own storm water systems should get the discount automatically. This is important because the [city] Bureau of Environmental Services has been plotting to use an application system as a barrier to citizens receiving their fair discounts.
Is it any wonder that PGE's customers are just a little worried about how they'd be treated if the city owned that utility?