A flood of complaints (March 20, 1997)
Council, residents question Flint water bills
By Linda Angelo, JOURNAL STAFF WRITER
John Oliver thought a mistake was made when he received his Flint water bill and noticed his previous month’s payment had not been deducted.
But Oliver, 77, became suspicious after he talked to neighbors with the same problem.
There are people on Genesee Street, Ridgeway, Parkway and Carpenter Road; it’s really all over, it’s really a mess, Oliver said.
The mailman told me he’s delivering bills that were already past the due date.
The Flint City Council also is upset over the number of complaints about water bills the past two weeks.
Something is drastically wrong, 3rd Ward Councilman Johnnie Tucker said at Wednesday’s committee meetings.
I don’t know what the problem is, if it’s with the computers, but (residents) can’t get any answers. People are on a fixed income, and they can’t afford to pay their bills twice.
But Finance Director Marc Puckett, who oversees the collection process, disputed the council’s charges that residents are being billed twice for the same usage.
There are no double billings, he said.
Within each fiscal year we have to have only 12 billings. We have a game plan to address the billing issue, and it’s working.
He added, however, that fewer customer service employees have caused some problems.
We have several vacancies that exist in the Customer Service Center that are in the process of being filled, Puckett said.
That combined with a few women on maternity leave and previous computer problems has caused the meter readers to get behind and the (customer service employees) behind.
That answer did not sit well with Council President Scott Kincaid.
There are serious problems, and the residents of Flint are suffering because of the lack of people to read meters, Kincaid said.
That’s the administration’s fault for not making sure there are enough people to provide the service.
We appropriate money for your department, and it’s your responsibility to make sure there’s enough people to read the meters and do the billing.
Some council members said the vacancies are partly the result of the city’s early retirement program, which began in 1994. Vacancies often occur in departments other than the ones from which employees retire because it leads to employees moving to other departments.
Fifth Ward Councilman Matt Taylor said he was not satisfied with Puckett’s explanation of the problem. He said he received at least seven complaints on Tuesday.
These people deserve an answer and don’t want to hear bull, and I don’t want to hear it, he said.
Oliver and many other residents have taken their complaints to the Ombudsman’s Office.
Copyright Flint Journal / MLive Media Group (mlive.com). Used with permission.
Files dealing with Marc Puckett
- 19920114 Minutes of a special meeting of the city council for the City of East Detroit, Macomb County, Michigan
- 19920225 Minutes of a special meeting of the city council for the City of East Detroit, Macomb County, Michigan
- 19920303 Minutes of a special meeting of the city council for the City of East Detroit, Macomb County, Michigan
- 19920305 Minutes of a special meeting of the city council for the City of East Detroit, Macomb County, Michigan
- 19920319 Minutes of a special meeting of the city council for the City of East Detroit, Macomb County, Michigan
- 19920623 Minutes of a special meeting of the city council for the City of East Detroit, Macomb County, Michigan
- 19960111 Retirement firm accuses official of favoritism
- 19960403 Folks soaked by water bills may get relief
- 19960920 Marc Puckett’s red light ticket
- 19990130 $9-million pension fund transfer raises questions
- 19990202 Retirement panel urges ‘immediate’ audit of plan
- 19990203 Retirement board splits over need for independent manager
- 19990203 Finance director resigns under fire of pension flap
- 19990210 Former finance director lashes back at critics, hints suit
- 19990224 Flint to boost pension fund
- 19990319 Flint sent tax funds to wrong units
- 19990326 Ex-finance director cashes in on $6,000 in unused vacation time
- 19990330 Flint could owe state millions some industrial facilities taxes have not been paid since 1996
- 19990408 Stanley acts on money woes, appoints new finance chief
- 19990411 Stanley must share blame as part of his plan to fix city’s financial woes
- 19990909 Audit details shortfalls in financial procedures
- 20100219 Personal injury complaint against Marc Puckett
- 20100408 Answer of defendant, Marc R. Puckett, to plaintiffs’ complaint
- 20101227 New finance director to step down
- 20101228 Marc Puckett out — Again
- 20101230 Leadership turmoil
- 20110104 The world according to John Moorlach
- 20110110 City faces $231,000 deficit
- 20110113 Interim finance director named
- 20110210 Marc Puckett’s speeding ticket
- 201102405 Marc Puckett’s ticket for stopping on a red signal
- 20110817 Marc Puckett’s ticket for no license plate
- 20120309 Marc Puckett’s Orange County accident case information
- 20120425 Marc Puckett’s speeding ticket
- 20120703 Marc Puckett’s speeding ticket
- 20140724 Marc Puckett’s speeding ticket
- 20141124 Marc Puckett’s ticket for coasting out of gear
- 20141205 Marc Puckett’s ticket for speeding
- 20150529 Marc Puckett’s ticket for improper use of preferred lane
- Comments for tonight’s council meeting
- The innumerate Mr. Puckett
- Shill crazy after all these years
- Earth to Puckett!
- About those awards
- One PRR story: American Express (CC)
- 20160913 Documents link top Apple Valley official to #FlintWaterCrisis
- 20160913 Investigation: Flint / Apple Valley Connection
- 20160915 Economic Speech (Trump)
- 20161018 Will Apple Valley become California’s Flint, MI?
- 20170319 Trump EPA grants Michigan $100 million to fix Flint water system
- 20170320 Sinkhole: Effort to replace pipes to Flint homes off to slow start
- 20170806 Vehicle belonging to AV town manager involved in hit-and-run
- He’s gonna need a good lawyer
- 20170809 Apple Valley official believes Liberty could have followed him before crash
- Public trust destroyed (Carloni)
- 20170907 Hit-and-run investigation involving Marc Puckett’s Cadillac sent to DA
- 20171010 Marc Puckett’s speeding ticket
- A question of character
- 20171206 Apple Valley Finance Director Marc Puckett charged with felony hit-and-run
- 20171206 A long wait for crash victim
- 20171117 A history of infractions
- 20171207 Apple Valley Finance Director Marc Puckett on personal leave after felony hit-and-run charge filed
- 20171214 Apple Valley Finance Director Marc Puckett pleads not guilty to felony hit-and-run charge
- 20171214 I-15 crash victim seeks $2M in damages from Apple Valley
- 20171219 Editorial: Passing the Puck (Valles)
- 20171228 Town Hall position not a factor in Puckett’s custody status, attorney says
- 20180105 Puckett forced out as Apple Valley’s Assistant Manager & Finance Director
- 20180109 Tin Cup Men (Valles)
- 20180116 Puckett’s dismissal just what the town needed (Valles)
- 20180307 Puckett deposition set for mid-April in town’s eminent domain case
- 20180425 Pre-plea report ordered in Puckett’s felony case