Councilwoman Morgan responds to Councilman Kowalski

I find it interesting that Councilman Kowalski issues a statement on Facebook about finding ways to work together on issues with “those who may not be on board yet”, which just implies that he doesn’t want to consider any other options than what he brings to the table. He acts like he and Stephen Spear are the only council members who care about our citizens. What garbage. This is the divisive talk that he used to get himself elected to the council.

Andrew, in 2010, the citizens of Excelsior Springs approved a bond to build a new treatment facility and improve their water system, but somehow the council members that serve with you and Stephen are to blame for what is necessary to pay for it?

And your solution … why don’t you call it what it is?

You want to privatize our water system and sell it to a corporation so that, for a few years, citizens can have cheap water rates. Then we get to pay the corporation back for purchasing our water system. This company has been trying for 20 years to get Jefferson City to approve a flat rate for all of its systems throughout Missouri.

Missouri American Water was just approved (April) to increase annual water and sewer revenues by approximately $73.5 million (21.1 percent). At the time, company officials said the main reason for the request was a $950 million statewide investment in water and sewer systems the company was making 2018 through mid-2022. The rate includes replacement of about 275 miles of aging water and sewer pipelines, and an upgrade of treatment plants, storage tanks, wells and pumping stations across the state. This includes replacing the Jefferson City water treatment plant’s clear well, which was built in 1888.

A flat rate is not pay as you play and this company typically has a rate increase every three years. With them, we will not only pay for our water treatment system, we will pay for every other system they own in Missouri. This company is not in it to “do what’s best for the community”. They are in it to make a profit.

In seven years, the citizens of Excelsior Springs will have retired its water bond debt, will own their water system and enjoy lower rates than the communities that allowed themselves to be corporatized. Water is our most important resource. That’s why they want it.

It’s distasteful that someone who should be a colleague would try and pit the public against its elected officials the way Andrew has. Or, maybe these are just his “constituents” he is constantly referring to during council meetings. When I was elected in 2012, I understood that I was not just elected to represent those that voted for me. I am a representative for all residents of Excelsior Springs. Making tough decisions is part of being a leader. I’m sure as Andrew matures in the role of city councilman, he will someday be able to make a decision on the controversial issues that come before us instead of always abstaining. Real leaders make decisions, they don’t sit on the fence. I know that not everyone is going to agree with me, but I have a responsibility to the “whole”, not a select segment of the community.