Re: “Utility rate hikes proposed” (TNT, 10-10).
The Tacoma power and water utilities want more rate increases. No surprise there. If our elected leaders look into the numbers, they will discover that much of the requested increase is to fund pay increases for public employees over and above inflation.
That is the real debate, before any talk of utility rate increases. We cannot decide on the validity of rate increases until we decide whether the public is willing to fund continual pay raises for public employees.
Why, we must ask, are pay raises in excess of inflation warranted? Has the productivity of public employees improved?
I urge our elected leaders to scrutinize the request for utility rate increases to determine how much of the requested additional funds are for public employee pay raises. Then require the utility leadership to justify them.
The income of the ratepayers has not increased; why should that of public employees?