MLGW customers sound off about utility bills

Elected officials were hard to reach Saturday on the subject of Mayor Herenton's recent outburst on a local radio show.

For average rate payers it all comes back to one thing - they think they're paying too much, and they want to know why.

Charles Nelson is one of the customers who thinks he's paying too much for his utility bill. Nelson lives in a two bedroom house in South Memphis.

"Mine and the other utility bills in South memphis, four and five, six hundred dollars, and thirteen guys I know with twelve, I mean that's ridiculous. I know I don't use twelve hundred dollars worth of utilities," says Nelson.

As Nelson and other Memphians drove to work Friday morning, many of them heard comments made by the Mayor on a local radio station, "I am very concerned that Joseph Lee is being sabotaged internally. We can not explain these high utility bills. It makes no sense. The temperatures have not been that alarmingly low," said Mayor Herenton.

MLGW customer, Mary Freeman adds, "as far as sabotage, I don't know. There's so much wrong doing going on inside the system anyway, it's kind of hard to say."

Freeman echoes what we heard from many Memphians unsure of what exactly is going on inside MLGW.

"I don't know a thing about him either. But I know the bills be out of hand because the poor people, we got to try to make it too and then we got people who's getting help that don't really need help and the people who need help we can't get help," says Dolores Clements.

MLGW Board Member Nick Clark says he is not aware of any initiative to sabotage Joseph Lee's performance.

And, he is not aware of any serious malfunctions in the billing process.

People paying their utility bills believe something's wrong.

Freeman says, "the big people haven't been paying it. We've been paying it. The poor people."

Those people tell us they want someone to make it fair.

We also talked with MLGW Committee Chair Carol Chumney. She says City Council will hear from an attorney Tuesday about their options.