City's Doubletalk

Below I chronicle my efforts to obtain copies of the Electric City Power rules of operation and its schedule of rates, charges and classifications. These documents are required to be maintained by the City Ordinance that created Electric City Power in the first instance. Also, below, I note the City's response to my requests.

Note that I say "the City's response" and not "Peggy Bourne's response." This is because I do not believe for a minute that Ms. Bourne drafted the substantive, CYA language that appeared in her email to me: "I am unable to provide those to you at this time because they have yet to be formally adopted by Commission resolution. I understand Staff is working on them and will present them to Electric City Power Inc and then to the City Commission as is required by our ordinance."

This language, though, offers a glimpse into the bureaucratic mindset and goes a long ways toward explaining the frustration that I and others feel in trying to obtain PUBLIC information about the coal plant. Now here is a guess on my part, and I freely admit that I could be wrong. It's just a guess, but here goes:

When we originally requested the rules of operation and the schedule of rates, charges and classifications, there weren't any. Despite the ordinance requiring their preparation, someone had dropped the ball and failed to prepare them.

That's just a guess and if I am shown to be wrong, I'll correct it right here. But let's assume for a moment, shall we, that I am right.

If these documents did not exist at the time I originally requested them, does anyone think that the City's response to me demonstrates good faith? Look at the language used: "have yet to be formally adopted by Commission resolution."

Gosh, Gregg, they've been informally presented to the Commission, we've been working on them all along, we just haven't completed the formality of getting them fully and finally done.

Uh, yeah.

How about this: "When we received your request, we checked and learned that we had failed to comply with the requirements of our own ordinance. The documents don't exist, but since you reminded us, we're going to work on them and get them done."

Oh no, they can't say that. You see, the whole point of the original post was that the City is not competent to run an electric utility because they overlook even the basic details imposed by their own enabling act. So, instead of an admission, we receive an obfuscation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

May 29, 2007
Saw City manager and fiscal officer on plane to Seattle from GF, no doubt
going to visit RW Beck and confer 'in person' with no e-mail trail??

I wish they were just headed on to a fun filled life in Tahiti with
?missing money?