After reading your article, “Princeton Public Utilities starts general manager search,” I’m unable to walk away without comment.
My rebuttal is to our administrator, mayor and the utility commission’s seemingly ambivalence to the subject.
I find the Mayor’s letter arrogant, self-serving and ill-informed. Including city staff in this operation and the selection of a replacement is an abuse and possibly an infringement of our city charter. T
here are other avenues in place within MMUA and SMMPA. Socialized services through membership, that would adequately address the period and process mentioned. This would be people affiliated with the industry. A unique entity of city government set by charter, part of, but separate from city control and influence.
It’s rather well-known that the Mayor had issues with the uility when he ran for office. Has anyone ever questioned reasons behind the motive? Then? Or now? Frankly I think our mayor is nothing but a “snake oil” salesman. Don’t buy it! Question motive and intent. I think it’s there.
I know Mrs. Gerold to be a competent manager. But this position is unique and separate from city other than appointing a commissioner and some cooperating ratifications in bonding. I would have been at the public meeting suggesting the council “butt out” and expect the commissioners to do their job.
Administrator Barbian is quoted as expressing the importance that the “PUC recognize the city and PUC are one in the same.” They are not, by city charter. You have the tax payer (city) on one side and rate payers (utility patrons) on the other. Vastly different and not always the same people. He’s correct, they should work together. I agree. To suggest otherwise was an unfair statement. Totally different when it comes to management and control.
Finally, to the commissioners; I feel you were wrong in your request, ill-informed and ill-advised. Just plain wrong! You need to study the city charter (as amended).
To Connie, I say go in peace and pride knowing you’ve served your community well.
If you need any “snake oil” come back. I’m sure we’ll have plenty. At least until the next election.
Dale Dunham, Retired General Manager, PUC, Princeton