I would like to make a couple of additional points to Sunday’s article regarding the proposed sale of the City’s Waste Water Treatment Plant.

I am absolutely in favor of selling. The quote from John Roskovics that “council has had little appetite for it ...”   made it sound as if the entire council was not in favor of this. That is far from the truth. 

Roskovics does not, has not, and will NEVER speak on my behalf.

Most of the council is interested in the proposal and has voiced valid questions and concerns. The loudest opponents to the sale are Roskovics and former councilor Pugliese, who no longer has a vote in the matter.

I realize that some in the community have concerns regarding the proposed sale of the plant. We have to consider that regardless of who owns the plant, our rates are going to increase.  Mandated repairs have to be made to the plant, and rates must be increased to pay for them-regardless of if the city of Ashtabula or Aqua is increasing those rates.

The choice is simple:  I would rather pay my bill to Aqua and have the City have $35 million in the bank instead of pay my bill to the city and have ZERO dollars in the bank. 

I am concerned that we may be falling into the trap of accepting things the way they are, simply because that is the way we have always done things. I am concerned that folks are fearful of change and are too willing to quickly dismiss new ideas without considering the amazing impact this could have on the future of our City. 

I am concerned the hardheadedness and unwillingness of a few to accept new ideas may cause our city to miss an opportunity to make an investment in its future. We have to be willing to let go of the past and old ideas if our City is going to move into the future.

We, as a council and a city, have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make a historic change for Ashtabula. Let us make that change together and welcome the new future with open arms.   

Mike Speelman 

VP, Ashtabula City Council

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