The Gardner City Council voted to give a “rate holiday” to some of the 1,300 residential all electric customers who saw their bills double last month.
The rate increase had been implemented in 2019, but the city did not communicate thru social media, bill inserts, web page or their newsletter the effect the increase would have on all-electric customers – many of whom attended a March meeting and were not allowed to address the council.
Last night’s meeting agenda was not posted until March 27, and those wishing to speak had only until noon March 30 to send information to the council.
In addition  the city’s livestream you tube broadcast had technical difficulties – so even those with online access had difficulty viewing. Once started, it was hard to follow, as council members discussed eight different options, but the options were not available for view on the city’s website. All that was posted online was a one page agenda.
And, don’t depend on the city’s web page, according to Mark Baldwin, councilmember, part of the information is incorrect.
Randy Gregoryck, council member, suggested council members should exempt themselves from the “rate holiday,” but Rich Melton, council member, objected and said the council is already working harder on the rate discussions than anyone else.
So what happened?
A motion was approved for options 7 and 8.
What does that mean?
An e mail sent to the city clerk after the meeting netted us an agenda packet. She apologized and said it was due to technical difficulties with the live stream.
But that doesn’t explain why the information wasn’t put online for residents to view.
Transparency and communication shouldn’t be this hard.