Harris residents’ views on former mayor’s tenure

To the editor:

Recently, we read in the North Branch Post Review that Rick Smisson, former mayor of Harris, has filed for Dist. 5 county commissioner. We think the people in the district need to know how Harris has fared under Mr. Smisson’s brief tenure as the mayor of Harris.

In 2007, under Mr. Smisson’s leadership and amid considerable community controversy, the city of Harris built a water and wastewater treatment facility. The end result after 5 years, some Harris residents are not able to pay for their water and wastewater and the city has shut off their services.

Everyone’s property taxes have gone up, including those who have their own private wells and septic systems and are not utilizing the water and wastewater treatment facilities.

Businesses in the city are seeing greatly increased water and wastewater bills in a bad economy.

Paying for the water and wastewater faciity has drained the city’s finances. City services are cut to the bone. The city is on its fifth maintenance person in the past four years, as a direct result of his tenure. City equipment is deteriorating; repairs and replacements are troublesome for the city’s budget.

We’ve seen our city go backwards since Mr. Smisson’s stint as mayor. If you’re interested, talk to the city officials and residents of Harris to get their take on Mr. Smisson’s first and hopefully last political office.

Larry Nelson

Tammy Suchy

Residents of Harris

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