To the Editor:
As a local government official I resist responding to letters published in our local newspapers. Ms. Manning’s letter in last week’s edition of The Morgan County Citizen regarding the City of Madison utility bad debt write-offs begs to be an exception. Allowing Ms. Manning’s letter to go unanswered would permit misinformation to stand as fact. As stated in the Mayor and Council meeting writing off these bad debts does not mean attempts to collect all amounts due the City will be abandoned. These terminated and delinquent accounts will be sent to a debt collection agency for collection. The City’s utility billing collection rate for the three-year period covered by write-offs was 98.9 percent including the amount billed to the Recreation Department. Excluding the Recreation Department amount the collection rate was 99.3 percent. The City of Madison is very fortunate to have a professional staff that takes their responsibilities seriously. I would have hoped that the writer would have checked the facts before accusing staff of “sheer laziness and simply irresponsible” behavior. Your public servants deserve the courtesy. I would invite Ms. Manning to check the collection rate for her hometown utility company and let me know how we stack up.
City Manager, Madison