Hard choices ... that is the leadership test for the city of Baxter board members. The hard part is to finally correct earlier errors and oversights made by the city. Part of it will be to step up and do the job their position requires. That is, doing what is necessary for the community to operate as an inclusive system with true integrity.

I am talking about the extension of sewer and water to all the residents of Baxter whether they were part of the original system or were added later and denied sewer and water until some unspecified later date.

We all know the problem. The sewer and water systems need to be expanded to finally become inclusive, and that will require a large investment. Everyone would like that not to be true, but it is, and waiting will only make the situation worse. No further studies or magical thinking is going to save us from the realities of the situation.

We need a community-wide and inclusive sewer and water system. There should be no penalty for new areas to be included. Everyone understands paying a reasonable fair-share but having to pay what amounts to an exorbitant initiation fee to join the community is of questionable ethics and, as a result, is hardly a workable solution.

Making some residents responsible for their own sewer and water requires them to live waiting for disaster and in dread of more stringent requirements.

The entire community has to step up with the financial investment to solve the problem. Individual property owners will be willing to foot a reasonable part of the bill and will then pay sewer and water fees like everyone else.

It is finally time for our leadership to step up and solve this problem.

Bob Passi