Imagine my surprise when I opened my mail to find a bright red, screaming announcement from the city of Walla Walla telling me that if my unpaid, past-due balance was not paid within 10 days the account could be subject to collection fees and discontinuation of service.
I was floored. My husband and I work very hard and pay our bills. But I did indeed have a past-due balance of a dime. Ten pennies. Two nickels. No matter how it is put it was one-tenth of a dollar.
Seems like I had misread my balance and wrote my previous months payment for 10 cents too little.
The City Council can give the city manager a raise, the city can spend tens of thousands of dollars fighting a mural because a handful of people don’t like it, but owe a dime to the city and apparently it’s a problem.
I took my dime in person and paid my balance and inquired on the ridiculous nature of how much it cost to basically bill me for a dime. I was expecting something like, “Oh, that was an error” comment but what I got was “even a one cent balance” will do it.
Either the city needs a serious software upgrade or someone needs to set the parameters of the billing so that the current software can tell the difference between a grossly negligent payer and the nickel-and-dime debtors such as myself.
The city clearly needs to get its financial priorities in line. Hopefully my dime will help.