This past week, I saw a daycare center sign that thanked a local utility company for funding. It really rubbed me the wrong way - not because I don't believe in funding charitable causes but because it was a monopolizing utility company in the area that was using money that I have paid in for my overpriced utilities to fund it.

Shouldn't this daycare be thanking tri-state residents? We pay our (outrageously expensive) utility bills because we have no other choice. We can't decide to use the services of another utility company because there are no other options.

Shouldn't it be my decision what charities my hard-earned money fund or if I want to give to charitable causes at all? There are people in the tri-state who struggle to pay utility bills. Funding charities is probably last on the list of priorities when you are doing what you can to keep a roof over your head.

And, let's face it - utility companies use our money to fund their attempts at public relations in the community because of the negative connotation they have built for themselves. In reality, they should pay more attention to keeping our costs low and providing excellent customer service to gain favor in the community.

I ask for utility companies - especially those that monopolize the market to be more conscientious about financial decisions. But sadly, those are the ramifications of a monopoly - uncontrolled and undisclosed practices that are not good for the consumer, only the business.