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General manager’s authority questioned at GDPUD meeting

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From page A1 | November 21, 2012 |

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.

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