The News-Times reported that West Lake resident William Jenkins will be receiving $5,000 due to vintage Columbia County government in action (or inaction…your choice). In this case, he was billed for something he never received. We will not take this opportunity to comment on West Lake’s pond..but we want to. Commissioners voted to refund the victim’s money, all of what he paid needlessly for 20 years, to him, and to that, we say well done Commissioners and shame on Columbia County government bureaucracy..
Donnie Fetter wrote, “County commissioners decided Thursday to reimburse William Jenkins about $5,000 he paid to the county Water Utility in sewer payments during the past 20 years, although he has a septic tank.” WHOA! Columbia County was for 20 years charging this man sewer fees even though he has a septic tank? Yes. Yes it was.
Fetter continues, “Officials said the county only is culpable for up to four years of payments. Still, Water Utility Director Bill Clayton said his office offered Jenkins $3,000, about 10 years of payments, which doubled the cost Jenkins said he incurred in fixing his plumbing problems.” WHOA! This man was charged for 20 years and paid $5,000 over that time, but Clayton tried to weasel out of it. Wait, it gets worse.
Fetter also writes, “Clayton noted it was Jenkins’ responsibility to know if he had a septic tank.” WHOA! Why was Columbia County billing the homeowner in first place? Did Jenkins pay for a sewer tap which would have a paper trail? No county should bill anyone unless the homeowner has a sewer tap. So why charge the homeowner for services?
Fraud is the intentional use of deceit, a trick or some dishonest means to deprive another of his/her/its money, property or a legal right…However, increasingly fraud, which has victimized a large segment of the public (even in individually small amounts), has become the target of consumer fraud divisions in the offices of district attorneys and attorneys general. Let’s pass this on to Sam Olens and see what he thinks. What if this were any one of us commoners? Our collective butts would be locked up and we all know it.
Racketeering is the federal crime of conspiring to organize to commit crimes, particularly as a regular business. Columbia County charged this man unlawfully, and did so for 20 years. Fact. The County must have known that this man was being charged, correct? So are we to believe that no one in Columbia County government knew that this man was being charged when in fact, he should not have been? We’ll just have to quote Penn & Teller on that one!
Bill Clayton, what can we say? He’s a Ron Cross pal (surprise surprise). The Water Utility Director stated that it’s the homeowner’s responsibility to know if he had a septic tank. Very well. We contend that since this man was being charged (unlawfully) by Columbia County for sewer services, it would be fair to imply that he has local sewer services. SO FOLKS, DO NOT BELIEVE WHAT COLUMBIA COUNTY AGENCIES OR AUTHORITIES TELL YOU. IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO FIND OUT THE TRUTH. HOMEOWNERS, LOOK AT EVERY BILL THE COUNTY HAS SENT TO YOU, AND THEN DEMAND PROOF FROM COLUMBIA COUNTY THAT IT IS BILLING CORRECTLY.
Funny…odd actually…where was Ron Cross when all of this blew up? Isn’t this a time to lead? Well, Ron Cross and leadership are not prime examples of being synonymous. That said, we give the County Commission credit for voting to give this man all of his money back. However, he is entitled to interest and penalties, and we all know that they would be assessed to him if the tables were turned.