KAWARTHA LAKES-Mayor Andy Letham is apologizing for a message that was posted by the City yesterday regarding payments of bills and utilities and warning of penalties if they werent paid on time.
“The intent of that message failed, we were trying to let our residents know how they could pay their bills with some of our buildings being closed and what we ended up doing was causing additional stress to a lot of our residents. Obviously, that was not the intent, for that I apologize.” Letham said.
“I want to address that right now, I want to assure our residents no essential services will be disconnected. There will be no penalty or interest applied to any account until further notice. We are aware of the hardship that many of our residents are going through. Obviously, as a municipality we are not looking to add to that burden. Relief and flexibility are on the way. There are a lot of things going on in the community right now, but we will work with you to help get through this.” the Mayor explained.
The message was posted on Thursday afternoon online and on social media. Residents voiced their anger and frustration with the message and called out The City for being tone deaf to those who are struggling financially in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Read more here:https://www.kawartha411.ca/2020/03/20/some-residents-angry-after-city-posts-notice-reminding-citizens-to-pay-property-taxes-and-utilities-on-time-as-many-struggle-financially-in-wake-of-coronavirus/?fbclid=IwAR0qB0vXKfhTb5CojCDg_HnW9dBl5Rf8lXvkN8-ZkY7nMhdSIgit_hK4Ypc
Councillor Kathleen Seymour-Fagan also apologized to residents for the miscommunication.
“Yesterday’s message about how to pay tax bills was intended to simply provide information about methods of payment. Unfortunately, that communication caused additional stress to many people who are already worried about bill paying during the COVID-19 pandemic.” Seymour-Fagan stated. “City of Kawartha Lakes Council members want to reassure residents that no essential services will be disconnected, and no penalties or interest will be applied to late tax account payments until further notice. We regret this misunderstanding, and we are doing everything possible to help you during this stressful time. To quote Mayor Letham, “Relief is on the way.”