I'd like to suggest that the City consider a popular program with many utility companies located in the Bay Area, many parts of California and across this great land of America.
The program simply provides an opportunity for every utility customer of the Menlo Park Municipal Water District who receive a bill each month to provide a modest charitable contribution to help other Menlo Park citizens who,
1. Due to prolonged illness
2. Financial hardship
3. Long term unemployment
and so on, on a temporary basis, with help with the payment of their water bill. This program may help to prevent their water service from being turned off. At the same time, it also help the water company with potential bad debts.
This can be accomplished in various ways, such as rounding up to the nearest dollar (thus contributing a few cents per month), or a fixed amount (such as a $1.00 or more)on a one-time or on-going basis.
The program is easy to set up. It involves some programming changes to the bill, preparing some public announcements and presto, I suspect the program will be an overnight success.
We are a nation of giving, supportive and helpful people who make a difference. This may be one small but significant way to accomplish that.
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