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July 19, 2019
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LETTERS TO THE VOICE

LETTERS TO THE VOICE

November 30, 2018

RP utility and other bills

The Community Voice

I received a “PAST DUE NOTICE” the other day and called the city about it as I never received a bill in the first place. I was told to come in and see Kim.  The city will waive the late charge once a year, which they did so we are good.

Being curios, I asked how the bills are processed. The city originates the bills and then sends them to a Santa Rosa printer as a PDF. The printer then sends the printed bills to the County for mailing.  The Santa Rosa post office sends the bills to Oakland for processing and finally back to Rohnert Park for delivery.

As I look at the process, there appears to be 5 or more places where your bill is handled.  A little statistical math suggests that there is a one in 120 chance that something will happen to your bill and you may not receive it on time or not at all. With up to 10,000 bills going out each month, there may be about 83 bills that have a problem.

You may be better to mark your calendars and look for the bill.  If late call the city for another copy. Bills are mailed mid-month in even months.

I also received a license bill for a “fully equipped” dog, which I do not own (mine has been altered).  The city “made an error” which was corrected and the bill paid.  Later I received a delinquent notice for having not paid the “full bill”.  Another visit to the city corrected that additional error.  Check your bill to make sure it is correct as the city seems to be making a lot of errors.

Another error occurred in 2016 when the city used the wrong winter averaging to determine your sewer bill. I called for a meeting to correct things.  The meeting was called off with the city admitting there had been an error.

A new water rate bill has been sent out using the wrong average household use (6000 gal. vs 8000 gal. as shown on the sewer bill rate).  Also, the city was not able to produce a calculation to support the 6000 gal. figure.

I do not know about you, but I find that it is a good idea to review any bill from the city for correctness, sort of like reviewing your credit card statement in this age of identity theft.

Robert Grundman

Rohnert Park