Bellaire Utility Worker Wrong

A municipal employee in Bellaire is in a bit of hot water — and he or she should be. What the person did is the type of thing that can come back to haunt local governments years in the future.

Bellaire Village Council members learned last week that someone in the municipal utility department did not like the wording of a recently-passed ordinance regarding water rates.

So, as village Treasurer Tom Sable reported, the person didn’t implement the ordinance.

Well, that’s a new one.

Exactly what the employee’s concern was has not been determined. Obviously, however, he or she should have taken any concerns to council.

Officials say the ordinance would not increase any bills. Instead, it lowers sewerage bills by $5 a month and increases water bills by the same amount. The new water revenue would go into a special infrastructure account.

Putting a little money away, month by month, to handle utility infrastructure needs is a good idea — but only if it happens.

Because the employee failed to implement the change, about $9,000 that should have gone into the infrastructure account did not. Imagine the shock of village officials had the mess continued for a few years and they learned money they thought they had available wasn’t there.

Obviously, the culprit needs to be told to never, ever do anything like that again. Council makes the rules. Employees follow them. That’s the way our system of government is supposed to work, for very good reasons.

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