HOUSTON – We hope you know by now we don’t give up until we get you answers.
Last November, we started investigating outrageous, irregular, and, inaccurate water bills.
We have resolved many cases, getting tens of thousands of dollars in credits and refunds for water customers, but there are so many others who have contacted us that we can’t get to in time.
But we have a plan...
Why are we still doing this ‘DRAINED’ Investigation?
Our ‘DRAINED’ investigation has always been about transparency.
You should be able to understand your water bill and the charges. When you believe there is an error, there should be a clear process of how to resolve it fairly.
The city of Houston has made no real changes since we started our investigation a year ago. We are getting more complaints from customers today than we did at this time last year. To be fair, we’re also reporting on these issues almost weekly.
We want Mayor Sylvester Turner and all city council members to see and understand just how many customers are battling these big bills.
So now we’re asking for your help. If you have water billing issues or have emailed us for help, we want you to join us at City Hall on Tuesday, Oct. 31 at 2 p.m.
We’ve seen time after time that the process can be difficult and confusing for customers. We’ve seen people who never get answers. Others are told to just get a nonprofit to pay off the bill but are never told the problem that caused the bill to get so high in the first place.
You may remember, last year when city leaders would not respond, Investigator Amy Davis signed up and spoke during the public comment period.
How to sign up to speak at Houston City Council
You can sign up to speak during public comment by emailing email@example.com or by calling the City Secretary at (832) 393-1100. The City of Houston website says you can also stop by the Office of the Secretary, City Hall Annex, 900 Bagby, Room P101 to sign up to speak.
The deadline to sign up to speak was 3:00 p.m. Monday, Oct. 30. But if you missed this deadline we would still like you to show up to talk with us.
Bring your water bills that you have been unable to resolve. For those speaking, they will ask you if you want to speak for one minute, two minutes, or three minutes. Be prepared for what you want to say because when your time is up, they will stop you.
You can bring documents that you want the council to see. If you do that, bring 16 copies (one for each member) or you can bring one copy for the councilmember that represents your district.
All Council meetings are open to the public.
If you missed the deadline to sign up or if you just don’t want to speak, come and show your support while others speak.
Our next water rate increase is in April. This city council has already approved it, but they have yet to make any changes to help the customers paying these higher rates.
And stay tuned for more stories coming soon...