Evaluation by Robert A. Williams
A couple of months ago, the Shelby Star reported that a Shelby city official had stated the price of natural gas has gone up. Within the past month the Shelby Star reports that the Shelby gas fund balance has an $11 million surplus and City Manager Rick Howell had used about $900,000 of that surplus to pay off some other projects that had gone over budget.
This is good news, right? Or does any of this concern you? If you are a Shelby natural gas customer inside the Shelby City Limits and especially those gas customers outside Shelby City Limits, you should be concerned aplenty!!! Read on for the facts.
First of all, it as an uncontested fact that the prices of natural gas about anywhere in the United States has gone DOWN dramatically for the past several years. The USA, which has been a natural gas importer at the whims of OPEC, has become a natural gas exporter and we are only held back in raking in gazillions of dollars in revenue and producing thousands upon thousands of new American jobs by the whims of President Barack Hussein Obama, NC Senator Kay Hagan and the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA isn’t sure about “fracking” and maybe some new found lizard or bird that only exists wherever a new gas pipeline is proposed to go. Otherwise, US gas related companies are chaffing at the bit to build a large fleet of ocean going natural gas tankers to deliver US gas around the world. (If the Keystone Pipeline is approved, we may be able to do the same with oil and gasoline.)
Anyway, back in Shelby the wholesale price of natural gas has gone down (and kept a secret from Shelby gas customers) and the price Shelby charges to it’s gas customers has remained high. So, it takes a dummy not to understand where this $11 million natural gas fund surplus comes from. Shelby has not passed it’s savings along to it’s customers, especially those customers outside the city limits who cannot vote in Shelby elections. YOU have been had. And lied to in the process.
And that is not all. Shelby City Counsel is well known to skim and siphon off surplus funds from all it’s utilities funds for use in the General Fund to spend as the Mayor and City Counsel so pleases. Remember when the new Harris Teeter store, which was just outside the Shelby City Limits, chose to buy their electricity from Duke Power instead of Shelby? Harris-Teeter was called everything unpatriotic in the books by Shelby officials. Remember how Shelby extended sewer lines up to Fallston and Polkville to collect their sewage for big fees, when there was a sewage treatment plant in Lawndale that was downhill and could have treated the waste and possibly used the revenue to keep the Lawndale Mill profitable and keep hundreds of jobs that had been in Lawndale for over hundred years? Even the Cleveland County Sanitary System Board has surrendered to Shelby politicians and changed their name to Cleveland County Water (only water). Remember when the Schools merged and Cleveland County school taxes (then 10 cents) were raised to 15 cents and Shelby school taxes went down from 38 cents to 15 cents and Shelby High School still gets the best of everything? It goes on and on.
So, Williams, you might ask, what can customers who have been overcharged by Shelby do? The easy answer is NOTHING!!! YOU allowed yourself to be duped by the Shelby “City Slickers” in the first place and YOU still have not figured this out.
The only thing that can be done now is vote out of office the incumbents on the County Commissioners and put in new commissioners who will look after the best interests of Cleveland County and let Shelby pay for Shelby projects. If anyone has any better ideas, please let us know. (You can comment below.)