KILLBUCK -- Speaking for her disabled husband at last week's council meeting, Sandra Day of South Main Street, Killbuck, read a letter her husband composed and sent to the Ohio Attorney General.
Truman Day wrote about his concerns for water rates and bills set forth on the village.
Sandra said she doesn't share her husband's feelings, but wanted to express them because he is unable to do so.
"His feelings are very strong, to say the least, and if he had come, he might have got himself in a breathing episode," she said.
"Attention Killbuck Mayor and village council members. I have contacted the Ohio State Attorney General's office regarding the new policy limit of 2,000 gallons of water per month per household. I realize that I should have contacted the village council first, but because of your threatening letter and control over the village, I thought it was necessary to go to a higher authority," he wrote.
"I didn't feel my voice would be heard because your minds have been made up," Day continued. "I am trying to look out for myself and my community. You have let it be known that there is no other alternative and we must comply with what the council has chosen. That leaves us no choice, and that is wrong.
"You're covering up for the irresponsible handling of finances, purchasing trucks, equipment, etc., knowing that we're paying for the water plant," Day said. "You have made our burdens too heavy. You are dropping your responsibilities on the community. Council is expecting the community to pay for your irresponsible actions in spite of all the trucks running up and down the streets all day long, wasting fuel, we're having paid for. This is not acceptable. This is not fair. Some people with children are paying so much more, causing anger and bitterness and cursing God; this is just not right. We are supposed to look at council members as people to look up to, not someone who is taking advantage of the people. Too much fear in the village. From newspaper articles, council members ganging up on the residents of the village, asserting their power and authority over the community, I realize things need to be taken care of, but not in the manner this is being dealt with. In closing, I want to remind the council that you are responsible for the care of the people of the community. Hoping you will do the right thing that's best for the community. Signed, Truman Day."
Mayor Dennis 'Buck' Hahn asked Mrs. Day if he should respond through her, and she joked it might be safer for all involved.
"Obviously, I don't want to upset him," Hahn said. "The last thing we want to do is put burden on residents. But we had to make sure things were done."
"Why is the allotment set so low," she asked. "We heard that Millersburg's is higher to begin with."
Street commissioner Brian Rippeth explained that Millersburg's water is based on three months usage, meaning they get 5,000 gallons every three months, which is less than the 2,000 gallons allowed in Killbuck.
"So we heard wrong on that," Day said.
The company that took care of this for the village through grants, made sure the rates are lower, Hahn added.
"Not all of us liked it," Hahn said, "but we have to look forward to the future of the village. When the rate was set, the company was trying to be fair to everyone. A small household pays the same as one with four kids, a swimming pool and other things. I appreciate he has concerns for other residents."
Hahn added that the number is fairly minimal for people who pay over the 2,000 gallon fee.
Rippeth said he drives his truck around town gathering up things from people around town.
"There are a lot of white trucks in town," Rippeth said. "He's probably seeing other trucks, not just ours. We're also out helping the gas guys. We're not just riding around town for something to do.
"Everybody running around, presuming this and guessing that, instead of coming to a BPA meeting or council meeting, and get the facts, they would just spread rumors," he continued.
Council member Pat Mishler expressed her gratitude to Truman Day for the benevolence he has contributed to the community.
"We appreciate what he has brought to the thrift shot and the library," Mishler said. "We truly appreciate all that he has done."
Mrs. Day thanked council for allowing her to share her husband's letter and hopes the information she takes home will clear things up for her husband.
Reporter Kevin Lynch can be reached at 330-674-5676.