The needler in the haystack.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

PMUA rate bombshell


The Plainfield Municipal Utilities Authority (PMUA) commissioners dropped a rate bombshell at their Tuesday evening meeting.

When last we checked in on the PMUA
at its September board meeting, I noted that the new Executive Director, Duane Young, was bringing a breath of fresh air to the Authority's conduct of business (see post here).

Though his comments were somewhat veiled (that direct communications or complaints from employees to commissioners were out of bounds, and that the HR manual was going to be followed 'to the T'), it seemed clear that changes were on the way.

A memo dated September 30 from Young has been posted on the PMUA website (see here) which makes plain what Young was implying at the earlier meeting --

...my review...revealed that  the Authority would need to significantly increase rates unless certain budgetary changes were immediately taken. The Board of the Authority and I viewed any increase in rates as unacceptable.

Consequently, in an effort to avoid any rate increase in the upcoming year and to stabilize rates for Plainfield residents, the Authority decided to take several actions...


  • restructuring of the organization..
  • the recent lay-off of 15 employees..
  • a reduction in the use of outside consultants..
  • increased efforts to more effectively utilize shared service opportunities...
All of these initiatives of Executive Director Young made it possible for the Commissioners to drop a bombshell at their Tuesday evening meeting -- the introduced budget for calendar year 2012 has two salient features: solid waste charges to ratepayers WILL NOT INCREASE in 2012; furthermore sewer rates WILL BE REDUCED BY 2.6%.

When can you ever recall a tax-setting entity REDUCING rates?

While Mr. Young deserves credit for finding a way forward, residents and ratepayers -- led by Philip Charles and the DumpPMUA initiative (see here) -- get the credit for mounting public pressure that led to changes at what had been viewed as a very high-handed and wasteful agency.

 

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Philip Charles has been an champion in this cause. He should be applauded, and his efforts should be etched in the PMUA offices so that PMUA does not forget the power of the people. Thank you Philip.

OverTaxed said...

I'm happy that there will be a reduction in the sewer cost but it's still WAY TOO HIGH! I pay over $1,000 a year for a single family.

There are too many inefficiencies at the PMUA.

Any idea when the council will terminate the contract with the PMUA?

Anonymous said...

I don't think Philip Charles had anything to do with it, after all they lost a major lawsuite against the Authority. I thank the fact that Eric Watson and David Ervin left the company and they finally have real leadership who knows business and doesn't "lead from the local bar"

Anonymous said...

Thank you Philip Charles? I don't think so. Everything on his website has to do with Eric Watson & David Ervin's misuse of public funds. Now they're gone!! and new leadership has emerged!! Never has the PMUA moved to alliviate high service costs until now. Besides, Philip Charles has relatives working at PMUA!!