It is a shame that Baltimore City can not see how they are hurting the citizens of Baltimore.
I have been researching water bill accounts for over three years, it did not take long before I realized how messed up the billing system is. I have emailed the Baltimore City Water Department, City Council, The Mayor, The Public Service Commission, The FBI, The Office of Inspector General, The Office of Attorney General, Delegates and Senators and yet the erroneous bills continue.
I would like everyone to stop and think about the elderly that get a erroneous bill, most of them would just pay the bill without question. What if they could not afford to buy their medicine because they had to pay an incorrect water bill. Even if they were only over billed by $10.00 that could be one prescription that they cannot fill.
Or the mother that might question an erroneous bill, but the Baltimore City Water Department won't admitted that it could be wrong, so she gives up and pays the bill. Her child might have to eat a little less this month to make up for the difference.
Another sad but true story. A lady suffering with breast cancer gets an erroneous water bill, and her house gets put up for tax sale in part because of the water bill. The Baltimore City Water Department schedules her for a water hearing on May 20, 2008. She shows up for the hearing at 8:30 in the morning she is the last case of the day about 12:30 P.M. she is so week she tries to sleep on the couch until she is called. I was the case right before hers I woke her as I left. Talking with her while we waited I realize I have heard her name before. She is very active in her community helping police her neighborhood. Her bill has fluctuated from $58.56 up to $1,193.00 where was the red flag for this bill. Why do we even have red flags (because the billing system is messed up)? Being self-employed and without health care she can not even afford her treatment for breast cancer. I guess she will be another citizen losing her home this year due to an incorrect water bill.
How about a resident that might be evicted from their home when a notice of a past due water bill shows up on the door. A bill for thousands of dollars for the last couple years, but if the water department did their job correctly it should have been turned off for non-payment long before it reached such a high amount.
Don't forget about the Baltimore City council woman who testified at a hearing in April of 2007 she received an erroneous bill. She called to complain not letting on she was a council woman. The water department comes out to check her meter, they said everything was fine. Then she calls a plumber, the plumber did not find any leaks. Sometime later she receives a credit on her water bill. Did she get reimbursed for the plumber ( I doubt it ).
There are also homes and business that are either under billed or don't receive a bill at all.
Our city government has full knowledge of its over-billing and suffers no guilt in swindling its citizens.