Sometimes, the city administration of Mayor Tom Rist impresses us. Last week was a good example.
When the city started getting complaints about higher-than-normal water bills, it didn't just shrug off those complaints with "well, it was a hot August, you probably used more water," then cashed the user's check and forgot about it.
Instead, it actually looked into the complaints -- and discovered that, yes, most people were using more water. But then the city officials went one more step and asked "why?"
What they discovered was improvements to the city water system had actually increased pressures, meaning more water was going through sprinkler systems for the same amount of time people were watering.
Instead of just telling people they could now cut back the time they spent sprinkling, the city decided that it wasn't fair to surprise people with a suddenly higher bill, even if they really did use the extra water.
So Rist is recommending, and the council is expected to approve, a small rebate to water users for their August bills.
It's a weird case in which the city is trying to actually make amends for being more efficient. Only in government would strange things like that happen. But then, you need a government like the one Rist runs that actually believes its job is to serve the people.
Good catch by the city -- and a good call.