No water no matter who did not payBy LISA GREENE, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 25, 2002
If you don't pay your water bill, Pinellas County Utilities will cut off your water.
Even if you're in charge of the utility.
That's what happened last week to County Commission Chairman Barbara Sheen Todd. Todd failed to pay a two-month bill for $149.85, due Aug. 29. She came home Sept. 19 to find her water turned off.
Todd said Tuesday she thought she had paid the bill. Despite two late notices, she didn't realize it had gone unpaid until her tap went dry.
Todd said she "has been overwhelmed with a lot of issues" since her husband, Tom Todd, died June 29. She has returned to her commission duties and is campaigning for her daughter, Tiffany, who is running for the School Board seat her father held.
"It was embarrassing," Barbara Sheen Todd said. "But at the same time, I'm glad our department is handling their officials just the same way they do everywhere else."
Tim Wiley, the department's director of customer services, said Todd's account for her home in the Seminole area is listed just like any other customer account. Nobody in the department realized they had turned off a commissioner's water until Todd showed up to pay the bill and clerks recognized her, Wiley said.
Now, Wiley joked, people say his days on the job are numbered.
"I've already had people bidding for my parking space around here," he said. He hastened to add that Todd was polite and didn't ask for any special treatment.
Todd said she has learned her lesson. She offered advice for others. "I would just urge everybody else to pay attention," she said. "You could be next."
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