Fellow T-or-C residents, are you happy with your utility bill? Do you understand the bill? My bill now has an extra, second line called “El Total Charge”. How can there be two “Total” charges? How silly. How contradictory. Buried in the first “El Total Charge” is an $8 fee. City code under Sec. 14-45 states, “Customer charge, per month... $8.00”. (An $.86 tax is added, too.) Exactly what does this cover? In decades of practice, among what it covers, is meter reader’s time and inputting their data into bills.

On July 14 the commission moved: “to approve Resolution 5 21/22 the imposition of a $50 monthly fee to retain a digital meter.” In T-or-C, all save one electric customer has digital meters. Potentially, by this motion you, too, could get such a second line charge of $50. Why, if the utility department is now automatically “reading” the majority of recently AMI metered customers, are you still charged the “$8 customer charge”?

The electric and utility staff constantly harped that dogs prevented them access to meters. This became a central mantra of why the city spent $1,200,000 installing so-called AMI smart meters. Codes and tools already existed that could have been applied regarding the dogs. Fines could have been made to those property owners where meters were not accessible. But, utility staff, please do not continue to use it as an excuse to me. The city went the AMI route solely to benefit city workers, not the public's welfare. Read the record.

We citizens need to ask why we perpetually allow the commission to overstep their oaths of office, abuse federal law and ignore state statute to devise rules like this egregious and extortive resolution? I am glad to pay for my use of electricity, but not this exorbitant fee that is not “reasonable or just” as NM statute 62-8-1 demands.

An election for three commissioner positions is coming. Consider a run to serve the public welfare. August 24 is the only day to register in the county clerk's office. The election is November 2.


Ariel Dougherty


T-or-C, NM

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