Salaam gets involved in county water board

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 9, 2003

The Dallas County Water, Sewer and Fire Protection Authority has scheduled its next executive session.

Following a suggestion from State Rep. Yusuf Salaam (D.-Selma), who showed up at the meeting, the board voted to adjourn its Tuesday meeting and hold an executive session at the Dallas County Courthouse July 21.

A public meeting will follow on July 22 at the board’s Selmont office.

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Salaam said the executive session was needed to deal with problems between board members and personnel.

Discussion on the executive session and public meeting began after a number of resident’s complaints to board members.

One customer, Betty Griffin, said she came to pay her water bill on June 25 &045;&045; the deadline for payments &045;&045; and was refused. Griffin said she was told her water was already disconnected, but she denied it. She said someone told her to pay a reconnect fee.

After contacting Dallas County Commissioner Connell Towns, board chairman Joe Thomas and board vice-chairman James Hale, Griffin said she was finally told to contact the board office again with instructions from Hale that she didn’t have to pay the reconnect fee.

According to Griffin, her water was then disconnected.

Thomas questioned what the disconnection policy was and added the board needed to review its policies.

Salaam said the board had new operating guidelines and needed to begin using them.

Bill Keith, another board customer, said he wanted a copy of the new policies. Keith also questioned a notice posted outside the board’s office listing fee schedules.

Continued discussion eventually led Salaam to declare he would approach the board’s governing body, the Dallas County Commission, and attempt to rectify the board’s ailments.

Salaam also said another public meeting needed to be held so no one could say they didn’t have a chance to air their grievances.

Thomas agreed and said the board would enter an executive session to air its problems. Hale suggested the executive session occur on July 21 at the Dallas County Courthouse and the public meeting on July 22 at the water board’s office. The motion passed after a vote.