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Dotson says town's charge to remove name is unfair

Dear Editor,

I’m writing this letter due to an issue I have had in removing a name relating to one of my utility bills. I went through a very difficult divorce just over 2 years ago. As most of you know there are many things that need to be changed when you divorce and change your name. The ex-spouse’s name needs to be removed from utility bills, charge accounts, insurance, bank accounts, etc.
I would like to commend all of the facilities/institutions/businesses that I have dealt with regarding this issue of removing my ex-spouse’s name and changing my name with the exception of one: The Town of Mountain City Water Department. The Mayor and the City Manager have told me they have a ‘policy’ that to have someone’s name removed from your bill you MUST pay them $50.00 or the party must personally request their name be removed. Not one of the other businesses that I have dealt with has such a charge. I had this account with The Town of Mountain City Water Department several years prior to my ex-husband being placed on the account. The water department did not charge me to add his name to the account. I have written the Mayor regarding this matter and spoken to the City Manager explaining that my ex-husband will certainly not be paying my water bill and due to the bitterness of the divorce will not request to have his name removed because that would be helping me.
I have a friend in a similar situation, her mother is in her 90’s and has been in the nursing home for several years and will never again be paying the water bill. When her mother went into the nursing home she and her husband requested to have her mother’s name removed from the account and that it be placed in their name since it is their residence and they pay the bill. The Town of Mountain City told them it would cost them $50.00 to have her mother’s name removed. I assume that when my friend’s mother passes away, the Town of Mountain City will also want $50.00 in order to remove her name after death.
I know there are certain policies in all business and there are also exceptions to these policies when the circumstances warrant it. I have requested than an exception be made in this instance since I owned the account prior to my ex-husband’s name being added but was told, “I will not change it” by the City Manager in no uncertain terms. I do not know if my request was ever brought before the Board of Alderman for discussion, I doubt that it was.
I am not a rude person unless I’m being treated rudely and in this case I have been.
I appreciate all of the other businesses that have treated me kindly and have been understanding of the circumstances and situation.
I would hope that in the next city election that a Mayor would be elected that, yes, does look out for the town financially but also understands that some ways of making money are not humanitarian. They may find themselves in a similar situation in time, I wonder if they would feel justified in paying $50.00 in the case of death or divorce.

Imogene Dotson
(Imogene Bunn)