RECs and orange shut-off notices

To the editor:

You will get an obnoxious orange “shut-off notice” taped to your front door if you fail to pay Oberlin city utilities by a certain time.

For over a decade, organizers and activists have tried to eliminate the practice of profiling residents for failure to pay utilities on time. Attempts to discontinue the profiling behavior has been brought before human relations commission and city council with no success.

Now residents and businesses are learning we are being overcharged for electricity. In light of this discovery, might city officials re-think ethics associated with profiling Oberlin’s most vulnerable residents? Whereas Oberlin city utilities include electric, water, sewer and refuse, residents who pay electric and refuse only still manage to get these notices.

Orange shut-off notices tend to be concentrated along Locust, Groveland, Park, Pleasant, Grafton, Vine, and Main streets. Although, drive along any street on the fifth or sixth of each month and you will see these obnoxious stickers.

It’s time for the orange shut-off notices to go!

Tracie Haynes