• Gina DuQuenne

Help! I Can't Pay My Utility Bills!

Why are our utility bills so high? People often ask me about the cost of living in Ashland, specifically utilities. It is in the Council’s power to influence utility costs and so far they’ve been influencing them up, up and up. As a City Council member, I will make stabilizing utility costs a priority. Fortunately, I’m not alone in this pursuit. The City’s budget committee and councilors such as Julie Akins are aware that utility costs are too high and that people are confused as to why.

Because of the near constant increases in electric, water and sewer rates residents have complained that Ashland treats its utility customers like a money tree. In the past decade the city’s budget has doubled but neither population nor service has increased. It’s all about out of control spending and taxing. We have to get this bloated budget under control. Ashland residents can no longer carry the burden.

In April, members of the budget committee, council candidate Shaun Moran and mayoral hopeful Julie Akins, voted to encourage the City Council not to increase any water, wastewater, stormwater, or electric utility rates during the 2019-21 biennium. Unfortunately, the rest of the City Council voted the motion down and it failed. So, residents will again be shelling out more for utilities, leaving less to pay for food, housing, or to spend at local businesses.

When I am part of the City Council, I will demand full accountability and transparency in how we spend our dollars. I will support our budget committee in their critical watchdog role and I will listen to their recommendations. I will fight for each and every person who lives here, and I’ll fight to make sure Ashlanders aren’t paying a penny more for utilities than we need to. That’s a promise.


#ginaforthepeople #reimagineashland

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Gina DuQuenne

For Ashland City Council

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