———- Forwarded message ———-
From: “Conway, Shannon” <Shannon.Conway@baltimorecity.gov>
Date: Mar 22, 2017 2:19 PM
In response to questions we’ve received regarding what to expect during the hearing process, please note the following:
Resolution 17-0015R was introduced on March 6th requesting an Investigative Hearing on Water Billing. The Department of Public Works (DPW) and the Department of Finance (DOF) will submit a report in advance, briefing the City Council on their findings with respect to (1) water affordability for customers of Baltimore’s Bureau of Water and Wastewater, (2) the new water billing system started in October 2016, and (3) concerns raised by customers of the Bureau of Water and Wastewater regarding unusually high bills, missing bills, and the process to contest bills.
On March 27th, the Judiciary and Legislative Investigations Committee will hold a public hearing. If you have specific questions, we urge you to submit them in advance to this office for the Councilman to ask on your behalf. You will not be permitted to question agency representatives directly during the hearing process. You may, however, sign up to give testimony (i.e., express how you feel about the billing system, how its impacted you or how the agency needs to improve their processes, etc.). How long the hearing will be depends on how lengthy the question/answer session lasts between the committee members and the agencies. It will also depend on how many people sign up to give testimony. The hearing can be as short as 1 hour or as long as 5 hours. We really can’t tell at this point.
We have been told that separate stations will be set up in one of the council rooms so customers can speak directly with customer service agents about billing issues.
I know it will be hard for folks to get to City Hall right after work (not to mention finding parking), but you can submit written testimony which will be entered into the record. Note, it will not be read, but the councilman may refer to written testimony if it will add something new that had not been discussed during the hearing.
Please let us know if you have any further questions.
All the best…
Chief of Staff
Office of Councilman Robert Stokes