Columbia, SC — I am happy to see that the case against the city’s misuse of water and sewer funds may proceed. The ruling that the city did nothing illegal does not mean that the city did the right thing, the moral thing, the ethical thing by its taxpayers and water and sewer customers. “Legal” is not always the same thing as “just.”
If there were surplus funds, doesn’t that mean that the water and sewer customers were paying too much all along? Those surplus funds should have been used to modernize and improve those systems, or returned to the customers if not really needed. If the money had been used properly over the years (I’m not blaming the current city government entirely), there would be no involvement and fines from the federal government, and no need to raise rates to cover the projected $750 million repair bill. (We all know that it will be more than this eventually.) And if the upgrades had been done incrementally, the cost would be a lot less.
The problem is that politicians and bureaucrats can go to the taxpayer well anytime they “need” money for something. The latest push to spend our money is a minor league ballpark located on the Bull Street property. Will Columbia taxpayers see a return on their investment? I love to go to a game now and then, but I think the government should take care of our needs (infrastructure) and then, when all is good, see about our wants.