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General manager’s authority questioned at GDPUD meeting

By
From page A1 | November 21, 2012 | 6 Comments

At the Nov. 13 meeting of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District board, General Counsel William Wright asked the board to consider a resolution confirming the general manager’s contracting authority, noting that some members of the public have questioned that authority. In particular, Wright pointed to criticism of General Manager Hank White approving a contract with Becky Siren for regulatory compliance consulting services.

Wright said the resolution merely confirmed the contracting authority White already has.

“I’m concerned over the amount of time spent going over things already decided and authorized by the board. Please, let’s more forward. It’s important for the health of the district,” said Wright.

Board member Bonnie McLane objected, saying she thought approving the resolution gave the general manager a blank check. Board member Bonnie Neeley responded that the resolution merely confirmed White’s authority to approve expenses up to $10,000 and those expenses were included in the monthly financial reports given to the board for approval.

Board member Kathy Otermat supported McLane, saying she wanted to be able to review things that have happened over the past 10 years while McLane hinted she wanted to revisit what was spent on the abandoned Greenwood Treatment Plant.

Wright responded by saying that the resolution only pertained to payments and contracts already approved and authorized by the board. “The district needs to move forward,” he repeated.

Incoming board member Maria Capraun, shouting from the back of the room, said the resolution was due to a public records request she had made. “All contracts should come back to the board,” she reiterated in between taking cell phone calls.

McLane then accused Neeley of losing the election because she represented management and not the people. Board member Norm Krizl reminded the board that the resolution only pertained to matters that had previously been authorized and approved by the board.

The board then voted to approve the resolution with Ray Griffiths, Krizl and Neeley voting for it and Otermat and McLane voting against.

Krizl also asked for an update from the policy committee that consists of Otermat and McLane. Krizl noted that throughout the board campaign, all he heard was a demand for more policies, but the committee apparently hadn’t met and hadn’t brought a single policy forward in the past year. Otermat insisted she and McLane had met and starting in January would begin holding regular monthly meetings.

The board also approved a resolution recognizing outgoing board member Neeley for her service to the district.

Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or dhodson@mtdemocrat.net. Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 6 comments

  • Maria CapraunNovember 20, 2012 - 4:56 pm

    I don't believe I shouted, but let me clarify. I requested the contract with Siren and Associates. I was looking at the cost of contracting vs. employing this position for the ALT waste water compliance. When I received the contract it was for more than what the General Manager has the authority to sign. While the Board did approve the General Manager to contract with Siren, the GM's authority is $10,000. ----I questioned why this contract was not brought back to the Board to the GM via email (not to the legal counsel)? This contract was just signed by the GM and the Board was left with not knowing the final amount of the contract… Resolution 2012-18 presented by the legal counsel was not requested by the Board or the GM. The Siren contract was written by the legal counsel for the GM, yet the Board was not notified of the end result (or of any of the contracts, that are apparently in question, how many??). That was my issue, nothing more… The legal counsel created this resolution for what exact purpose? If the GM did nothing wrong or the Board approved the contract, a simple explanation to clarify was all that was needed not for the legal counsel to create a resolution and charge the District for the service of an unneeded document. Or is there something else here we are missing? Yes, my cell phone did ring because I forgot to turn it off. Life with the Mountain Democrat is going to be a difficult one.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Confused over LawyerNovember 20, 2012 - 6:45 pm

    Why is the district lawyer leading these efforts? That makes no sense at all. He is making initiatives so he can get paid more? Where GDPUD Board President Ray Griffiths during all this? Does he just sit there? The lawyer should not be leading these discussions, let alone at the meetings at all. More disgust comes from every time Dawn Hudson puts her jaded pen to paper. Ugly and dumb all around.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • EvelynNovember 20, 2012 - 7:45 pm

    Bringing forward related article and comments @ http://www.mtdemocrat.com/news/more-staff-losses-at-gdpud/comment-page-1/#comment-375768

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • EvelynNovember 20, 2012 - 8:09 pm

    The audio record does not support the reporter's statement that Maria Capraun shouted from the back of the room, etc., "in between taking cell phone calls." What purpose is served by this misrepresentation?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CherylNovember 21, 2012 - 7:56 am

    If Maria had to shout to get her message across, good for her! Kind of a odd thing for Dawn to note she had a cell phone, earth to Dawn, most people do.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Foaming at the MouthNovember 21, 2012 - 9:18 am

    Yes, good for Maria! If there's one thing this county needs, it's more shouting at public meetings!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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