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Looking at our tomorrows

I learned at the Peabody City Council meeting Monday night that the 2015 budget has money set aside for replacement of about two blocks of collapsed sewer pipe and two blocks of blocked up and corroded water lines. For those of you who read this column a couple of weeks ago when I wrote about why our water system keeps delivering water with color, odor, and taste problems, this is to let you know that nothing has changed. Our water pipes will keep bringing you the same thing.

Just like city councils of past decades, this council is trying to operate with its finances in a knot. I do not have an answer for the members’ predicament. There is only so much money to go around. Monday night they learned the tax money Peabody receives from the county is about $33,000 shy of what it received in 2013. They heard the reason is that people do not pay their property taxes on time anymore. Some do not pay them at all. Some taxes may get paid later. However, the money is needed now.

Do I want you to make a donation? No, I am pretty sure that suggestion would be met with riots in the streets. I just want to bring you up to date on what you can expect in the way of services during 2015. Until the city ups the ante on taxes or the cost of services, things are not going to change much.

Now before you stomp your foot or pound your fist on the table because the council did little to fix our problems, let me remind you that I did not see you at any budget meetings when your input would have been heard and most likely discussed. Let me say that in another way: If you want to influence the way the city spends its money and the services you receive, you need to be on hand to tell officials what you want.

While it is true that council members may not act on your suggestions, they may not change an ordinance to suit your needs, and they may not have the same funding priorities as you have, guess what? You might also find one or more of them squarely in your corner and with a little discussion, some cooperation, a bit of give and take, who knows what answers might be there to make things right?

I do not assume that we live in a fairy tale world, but I do believe that good people coming together for a common cause can make good things happen. Help me out here. Instead of whining and complaining about what you are not getting, try to find a way to help make Peabody a community that works together to get what it needs. Talk to your mayor and your council members and show up at meetings to share your opinions.

It is not just about water, streets, ordinances, or finance. It is also about our schools, business district, churches, parks, organizations, and how we work with each other. Your community needs each one of you!

— SUSAN MARSHALL

Last modified Aug. 14, 2014

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