Absolutely insane. That's all I can say about every resident paying a flat fee for an upgrade to the wastewater treatment plant instead of basing any rate increase on consumption. I'm supposed to pay the same amount as my neighbor does, even though he waters his lawn nine months out of 12, and I don't flush my toilet until I absolutely have to because I can't afford the utility bill I already get? My guests actually apologize when they forget and flush when they're here. That's embarrassing. The people down the street have four kids, and I'm going to have to pay the same amount for the upgrade as they do, even though I'm single. I know people who use at least 15 times the amount of water I do, and I'm supposed to pay the same amount to upgrade as they do. Once again, screw the poor. Is there anyone out there besides me who thinks that a flat fee of $17.75 per month for a person living on $859 isn't going to hurt? That's what I live on, and that's why I don't flush.

But I have no choice, do I? I have to have the city services, just as everyone else in town does, including others living on less than I do. We have no choice because the commissioners chose to agree with a consultant, who has a monthly income far above what many of us have, rather than asking their own consciences what is fair. Shame on them.

— Charlie Snook, Newton