Clarke Wants Water Rate Board, Revenue Officer

Council President Darrell L. Clarke put forth two pieces of legislation today, one that would create an independent body to set water and sewer rates and another calling on the administration to establish a “chief revenue generator office.”

The creation of a water rate-setting body was approved by the voters in the form of a ballot question in November. Clarke’s proposal would set up a five-member board appointed by the mayor and confirmed by Council.

The water commissioner now requests rate changes – typically hikes – and then decides whether to approve them after a hearing process. Clarke has argued that an independent body should make the final decision.

His suggestion that the administration create a chief revenue generator office comes a day after Mayor Nutter appointed Thomas Knudsen as his first chief revenue collection officer. Knudsen will be responsible for making sure the city collects as many of the dollars owed in taxes, fees and fines as possible.

Clarke long has said the city needs to explore creative ways to generate revenue without taxing citizens. His chief idea has been to sell advertising on municipal property – a proposal he believes the administration has been slow to consider.

Exploring and implementing an idea like that would fall to the new revenue generator office he has proposed.

Council members, Clarke said, often have ideas for saving or generating money, but there is no point person in the administration for seeking new revenue.

“There’s no doubt we are leaving significant revenues on the table,” he said.

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