Opinion: A splash of the strange

City Council member Harriette Butler raised a few eyebrows Thursday evening with a comment during a discussion of Samuel Smith’s erroneous water bills.

As the consensus in the Municipal Building conference room turned solidly against going beyond the three-year statute of limitations to repay Smith for sanitation fees he should not have been charged, Butler joined the chorus warning of the potential for a flood of claims for refunds from water customers.

“I’ve been out of my house for four years, and I’ve paid sanitation, water bill, sewer, and no one lives there,” Butler said.

In case you’ve forgotten, Butler has been allowed to win two elections and serve as the representative of Ward 2 solely because she claims that vacant Woodland Road house as her primary residence.

She lives on Belle Street in the Ward 1 offices of her property management company, Village Square Rentals, but maintains that she intends to move home as soon as a contractor-caused mold problem is corrected. With fellow council member Bernard Alston as one of her attorneys, Butler in November won a $300,000 judgment against PSNC in connection with the damage.