Once again I butted heads with officials of the City of
Maize is fairly typical of a small town in the throes of a growth boom. At first it was a small town, a few businesses, some homes and it sat on the edge of the state’s agriculture businesses.
Along with all of this comes a more impersonal bureaucracy and far less of a desire to deal with those older individuals, many of whom are working poor or plain poor and they are being squeezed by the impersonal government that now serves the local corporate masters.
This reality came crashing in on me when I complained about my water being turned off. I had an agreement with the water department that I would pay my bill a week later than the cutoff date so I could wait form my monthly pay check to arrive.
Since I’ve been getting older I get a lot crankier when I get screwed over than I used to. I demanded to know what was going on and eventually the City Administrator LaMunyon came out to argue with me personally. The payment agreement was my main concern I had been paying my water bill on the same day for several years so I couldn’t understand why they suddenly changed everything and decided to start shutting my water off early.
LaMunyon asked “do you have a formal written agreement?”
I told him I had been paying under this agreement for years. I own my home and have lived here more than 10 years. I never needed a written agreement because they always let me pay that way.
“Doesn’t it mean anything that I have lived here and I own a home in your town?” I asked.
LaMunyon made it quite clear he didn’t care. At one point he threatened to throw me out of the building. He had two armed guards there to enforce his authority.
“I pay taxes to this place,” I said.
He didn’t care about that either. He made it perfectly clear that he had no intention of honoring my past agreement. In fact he implied it never existed.
“What is his past history of him paying his bills,” LaMunyon said as if he didn’t believe I ever paid my bills on time. About a year ago the city council decided not to allow any extension or of water bill payments so I am not the only person who has problems with this. I’m sure some people have had problems paying their bills and the city government just doesn’t want to deal with this inconvenience. This is just one more way of letting the less wealthy people in this town know where they rank in importance.
LaMunyon made it clear this was HIS city hall and all he wanted me to do was pay my bill and get out. I also had to pay a huge penalty for paying late. No break on that just because I thought I had an agreement.
LaMunyon used to be the Wichita Police Chief and I can understand now why some people thought he wasn’t a very good one. He acted as if he thinks Maize is a police state and he is the warden. I have come to the conclusion that wealthy new Maize has little or no use for the older Maize. If I can ever afford it I will be out of this place. But for now I have to live in LaMunyon’s little police state.