Minutes with the Mayor: All Those Charges on Your Water Bill

In this edition, Mayor Gonzalez explains what that community service charge really is.

Patch gathered questions from readers, for  Mayor David Gonzalez. Now, Patch will regularly air a series of video responses to the questions readers voted as most pressing.

In this segment, Gonzalez is answering a question about the bi-monthly water bill Heights residents receive and the often confusing charges that appear on it.

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SharonC August 08, 2012 at 11:25 AM
ok...this answer makes logic sense...alot of other towns do pay for thier garbage to be picked up...and all the other charges used to come seperate...so combining them is a better way...i agree
Mark August 08, 2012 at 11:56 AM
I agree with Sharon . I used to live in a village and we were paying 16 dollars a month for garbage pick up. That alone covers most of the Community Service Fee . I don't believe in laying off Police but I would like the Mayor to explain why we have so many Fireman .
Tom August 08, 2012 at 12:24 PM
Mark, the answer is very simple. Would you like to volunteer your services to be a P.O. C. (paid on call) fire fighter? would you like to sit around and wait until all of the volunteers got to your house or your neighbors? would you like to try to give yourself CPR or try to defibrillate yourself? these are a few of the reasons and before you ask, no, I am not a fire fighter or city employee. I just happen to think that there is no such thing as having too many firefighters and paramedics.
Winston Wolf August 08, 2012 at 12:35 PM
It is so great to see that our mayor is engaged and knowledgable. The people of Chicago Heights can rest assured that we are in good hands.
MikeD August 08, 2012 at 12:48 PM
Mark is right asking the question ? Only a retired or active Firefighter would respond as Tom did . Mark didn't say anything about getting rid of all the fireman . But why do we have as many fireman now than we did 20 years ago and our population was over 40,000 ? Now we are at 30,000 and no reduction in man power. I appreciate our Fire Department but let's get serious about the cost associated with keeping too many fireman working .
jason amos August 08, 2012 at 04:43 PM
This is a great answer except that at 4 th Ward meeting the Mayor was present and I asked the same question,and got a different answer that what he is saying in this response!I guess you didn't remember that Mayor,you explained in front of 60 plus people 3 months ago at Roosevelt school.
Winston Wolf August 08, 2012 at 06:15 PM
Jason, if you think this answer contradicts what he said before, you are probably just having trouble understanding the specifics. Mayor Gonzalez is on a much higher intellectual plane than you are.
NoOne Needs to Know August 08, 2012 at 06:49 PM
It's rob Peter to pay Paul so we don't really have to watch our budget. We pay real estate taxes...we shouldn't have to be paying extra fees just because a few politicians cannot figure out how to "live within their means".
The Dark Knight August 08, 2012 at 08:49 PM
Mr. Wolf, i love reading your comments.
intheheights August 08, 2012 at 09:48 PM
I'd like to inquire about the size of this fund currently and when it is tapped, what is it going towards?
Denice August 08, 2012 at 10:17 PM
I agree with NoOne Needs to Know---this is why we pay real estate taxes. Now that we know the community service fee is used to CUSHION the budget the next logical question is what happens to the surplus? What happens to any commuinty fees that were not used? Obviously not to hiring more police officers to patrol this city. I grew up on the far south side of Chicago and never saw a prostitue or an actual drug dealer until I moved to Chicago Heights. Also, as MarkD pointed out if the population is decreasing then we don't need as many fire fighters. Personally I'd like to see some of the funds diverted from that department and applied to hiring more policeman. I live one block from a firehouse and have only seen and heard them responding 4 times in over 12 years. Maybe with more policeman they will actually respond to the calls I make to their dept on the hoodlums I see selling drugs and gambling on my block.
Jane Public August 08, 2012 at 10:55 PM
Winston, what department of the city do you work for? A branch of the IT Dept that monitors the web for any threads regarding Mayor Gonzalez? Are you the mayor's aide? We ALL know that you admire and support the mayor and that he can do practically no wrong as far as you are concerned. Your near fanatical support is becoming a bit disconcerting in a zombie or Stepford Wives kind of way. Jason Amos attended a ward meeting in which the mayor gave a different answer to this same question and you determine the mayor is "on a much higher intellectual plane"? Are you aware that by saying such things while spouting the virtures of the mayor, in the zealot manner in which you do, you are causing people that voted for the mayor to seriously re-think their support of him? In short, please continue to respond to comments on the Patch, but leave out your political alliance unless the topic is your political alliance. In all of the responses I've read so far NO ONE has attacked the credibility of the mayor but you---with your over the top carnival like selling of the mayor. You seriously need to tone it down.
jason amos August 08, 2012 at 11:46 PM
Winston here's a question for your smart a--.At July's meeting TJ stated that the money from the casino in Des Plaines was in the BUDGIT PLAN at a very inflated amount? I saw in the Sun Times that it was 300,000 shorter than what the 2 idiots said.
Winston Wolf August 09, 2012 at 02:10 AM
Jason, I don't know what the budgit plan is. It sounds like you might be talking about the budget plan, but I can't be sure. Anyway, you bring up a good point. The mayor and his administration have done a great job negotiating to get hundreds of thousands of dollars from the casino deal. Another win for Chicago Heights!
Tom August 09, 2012 at 02:35 AM
Winston, please get your head out of Gonzos ass, you are starting to stink the place up with your ass kissing comments.
Winston Wolf August 09, 2012 at 01:03 PM
Hi Jane, I do not work for the city. If anyone bases their support for this administration upon anonymous comments on a news story, they have big problems. I give my honest opinion just like you or anyone else. Please stop with the personal attacks.
Arthur W. Wiggins Jr. August 09, 2012 at 02:05 PM
David Gonzalez explanation of the water bill is great. However,the justification of it is horrendous. It is obvious that expenditures for the city primarily come from property taxes. So why would this method be utilized? The water bill being used help absorb short falls is a clear burden. The community service fee cost each household $210 per year BEFORE any water is used. When any household is in a deficit, that household seeks the most LOGICAL cuts to balance its budget. Tying this community service fee into the water bill puts pressures on the poor that is not recognized by middle class or upper middle class. These people that cannot pay the water bill because of this community service fee are forced out of their homes when the water is shut off due to non payment. Beacon Hill has an abundance of abandoned and or foreclosed homes. Taxes are high, the water bill is high, and the area is depressed. Only investor specifically looking to rent to Section 8 eligible renters can afford to invest in Beacon Hill. When you put to many people that are in dire circumstances in one area, there can be nothing but mass depravity. My tax bill for my house in Beacon with out any exemptions is just above $7000 per year. How can a property investor take advantage of this abundance of vacant property if he/she cannot sell it, or rent it to the working class ( which does not want to live here because the area is so depressed).
The Dark Knight August 09, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Jason Amos, well learn how to spell BUDGET!!! Correctly! who is the idiot now???? didnt you try running for office and lost??? you sore loser!
The Dark Knight August 09, 2012 at 02:17 PM
I just think it is hilarious to see that all the sour people who comment on the Patch are the sore losers who lost on elections for the City or the Park District. Are you still crying underneath your blanket because you lost and now all you have is this forum to tear down the winners?
Arthur W. Wiggins Jr. August 09, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Chicago Heights City Council needs to take a serious look at service cuts. The fireman issue makes plenty of sense. Recent David Gonzalez boasted that he eliminated towing/fining of cars by driver that were either suspended, revoked or no license. There is no reason to give a person that either has no license or a revoked license any break. Drivers with suspended license however is a different issue. A vast majority of drivers with a license suspension honestly have no clue that they are driving on a suspension. Illinois ability to give such notice does not exist. Fines and penalties toward individuals with revoked licenses and no license SHOULD be imposed. Individuals impeding traffic by either walking or standing in the street should ticketed and fined. The amount of tickets and fines for loud music should be increased. Chicago Heights is known for selling illegal drugs FOR YEARS....an open air drug market... enforcement against these activities and efforts to make the enforcement profitable for the city would give a positive view for Chicago Heights City Council. I feel that Chicago Heights City Council should seek legislation ( codes) that help bring our city back to a standard we can be proud of. Issues like this water bill, seat belt checks, what constitutes an abandoned car, and stop light cameras are the wrong way to make our city better.
Arthur W. Wiggins Jr. August 09, 2012 at 02:40 PM
The name calling is nothing but usurpation the real issue. The passions that we have for either side are great. I believe we all have point to makes. Our fight should be for democracy, and the definition of that is what the people want. I have heard way to many people in opposition of the fireworks which is about .27% of what this community service fee collects. Never the less it has been an expense that should not have happened. Our city needs service cuts.
evanswall2 August 30, 2012 at 07:03 PM
I agree Mr. Wiggins, why can't the citizens stop fussing or complaining to each other and do like most citizens in middle and upper class areas when they want something done, they get together and go to their state reps, if not city hall and show their concerns. We have to stop just chit chatting behind closed walls and make ourselves seen and heard, we are tax payers and we have rights. You are absolutely telling the truth.
evanswall2 August 30, 2012 at 07:13 PM
Mr. Wiggins, you should be mayor! My question is how do you get more than 10 people to a ward or city meeting. They are not listening to our concerns, most of them are either good friends or relatives with the people we have problems with. I have lived here in chicago heights practically all my life and have seen it go down, pretty soon it will look like Gary,Indiana ( a desolate) place with no life, if something don't change. You call the police and tell them about drugs and gangs, or domestic violence and it takes them forever getting there, you call 911 about it you get yelled at. Yes, anytime someone is fighting domestically and disturbing the peace, selling drugs it is an emergency. People should not be standing in front of your house smoking drugs, drinking, and especially walking down the street with a bottle turned up. what is going on, but the people in high places don't get out and walk the street until they want your vote and then promise sweet nothings.


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