Moultrie: Unfinished work
Published 1:03 am Sunday, October 30, 2011
Working to lower electric rates, bringing jobs to Washington and continuing to fight crime are the top issues in the city, according to Ed Moultrie Jr.
Moultrie, seeking his second two-year term on the City Council, is one of eight candidates seeking to be elected to the five-member council. The election is Nov. 8.
“I’m running again because the first time was a learning experience, and this time is to use the experience of the ins and outs of city government,” Moultrie said. “There are still more issues that we have to tackle that I’m not satisfied with that we did not get accomplished in my first term. One such is trying to do something with these electric rates. These electric rates are outrageous.
People are hurting. People are in agony. I want to be a voice for those who may not be able to speak for themselves.”
Asked what the city can do about its electric rates, Moultrie said, “Really, the city’s hands are tied. It all goes back to this agreement we got into sometime in the ’70s, I think. … I think one of the things we introduced was load management, but load management doesn’t get to the core of the problem.”
Moultrie said Washington Electric Utilities customers could do some things to lower their electricity bills and the city’s electricity bills, noting the city buys the power it provides its customers.
“I think city electric customers … should make sure their utilities are cut off (when not in use). Don’t leave the TV on all night.
Don’t leave the radio on all night. You know, phone chargers pull a lot of current,” he said. “Don’t have air conditioning on with the door open.”
Moultrie believes the city must become more proactive in bringing jobs to the area so its double-digit jobless rate can be lowered. He offered no specific plan to accomplish that goal, but he indicated such a plan should include input from not only city leaders but county and state leaders, too.
Moultrie talked about crime in the city.
“I think crime is in perspective to the whole community. There’s vandalism downtown. There’s graffiti,” he said. “I’d like to see more community policing — police officers on the beat, walking the streets.”
Moultrie said the city should continue supporting the Washington Police Department’s Project Next Step, which has been credited with helping lower the crime rate in the city during the past two years. The project identifies individuals involved in unlawful conduct and presents a unique manner by which to deal with them. If successful, the intervention eliminates overt criminal activity while making city and community resources available to alter the individual’s lifestyle, he noted.