The management committee discussed a complaint from resident George Farrell at its October 5 meeting.
The committee charged Mr. Farrell $26.75 for a service he said he neither needed nor wanted, but the money is not the issue, he said. The management committee has behaved in an unnecessarily bureaucratic, unneighbourly way, he said.
The problem began in the spring after Mr. and Mrs. Farrell’s trailer burned down. Their property had two residences, and the committee charged him for two water services, but the property had only one water hook up. After the fire, Mr. Farrell said he called the committee to change his bill to one water service. However, no water hook up had to be turned off, said Mr. Farrell.
Public works superintendent Victor La Boucane inspected the property anyway to make sure the water service was all in order, and everything turned off correctly after the fire. The committee charged Mr. Farrell the $26 and change for the inspection, which he said was unnecessary, and he refuses to pay for it.
However, at the heart of the matter is not the money, which Mr. Farrell said is small, but the manner in which everything was handled. Committee member Vicki Ives personally spoke with Mr. Farrell, which he said he appreciated. However, he received two letters from the committee, which he described as rude. “It’s a small town. It’s easy to know the facts,” said Mr. Farrell. “Why didn’t they talk to me?” He believes the quality of small town life in Queen Charlotte is eroding, as communication becomes more formal and bureaucratic.
Mr. Farrell wrote to the committee asking it to rescind the invoice. The committee discussed the situation, but feel the charge is valid. It “had to be inspected to make sure the connection was shut off from the burned building,” explained office manager Debra Uliana.
Committee chair Anne Mountifield said she would meet personally with Mr. Farrell as quickly as possible to try and resolve the issue.
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