Electric City Power, Board Meeting, 6/4/07-Part 2

As noted below, I attended the June 4, 2007, meeting of the Electric City Power Board of Directors. The Agenda for the meeting noted that, as a part of the Executive Director's Report, there would be a "Discussion of ECPI Ordinance and Rules of Operation." Since this is an issue I had previously addressed, I looked forward to this part of the Executive Director's Report which, I learned, was to be delivered by Jordan Love, the Administrative Officer, not the Executive Director.

Mr. Love stated that when the ordinance was drafted, no one knew "what it would look like," apparently referring to the public power utility. According to Mr. Love, they did not really know at the time that the ordinance was drafted just how the utility would be operated (another moving target?) so, although he did not say so directly, I guess that is the City's justification for failure to adopt Rules of Operation in the nearly four years since the ordinance was adopted.

That, and the words "from time to time." He repeated this phrase from 5.20.080 several times. Gosh, we're only supposed to do this "from time to time," right? 4 years? That's "from time to time."

He was silent about the schedule of rates, charges and classifications which is required not only by the ordinance, but also by Montana Law. (And there's no "from time to time" exception, either.)

Of course, there was not a hint that maybe, just maybe, there was an eentsy weentsy bitsy chance that "staff" dropped the ball. Oh, no sir. Everything's fine here. And we have contracts, he said. Those are kind of like rules. But no worries, we'll "bring the proposed rules to the board in the very near future."

Then again, I received an email today from Peggy Bourne from the City of Great Falls in response to my previous request for the rules and rates. She said "The Standard Service Offer and the Optional Customer Service Contract were presented to the PSC for approval. These address the rates, billing, terminations, "rules", etc. They are included in the ECPI license information and also in the ECPI Annual Report to the PSC. "

Wait a minute. You mean that there were rules prepared in accordance with the ordinance? Why, then, did "staff" not know about it? If "staff" didn't prepare the rules for presentation to the PSC, who did?

So, either the rules required by the ordinance were prepared years ago, submitted to the PSC, and no one knew about it, or the rules have not been prepared in the last 4 years but they'll be done in the "very near future." Either "staff" didn't do what they were supposed to do, or the left hand doesn't know what the right did.

Are you sure you want these guys to run a utility?

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