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Sunday, May 3, 2015

PMUA shakeup already under way

The 'big house' at the PERC's grand opening, November 2007.

Word in the street is that the shakeup at the Plainfield Municipal Utilities Authority (PMUA) has already begun.

Several sources tell me that Thursday was the last day of work for now former Executive Director Dan Williamson and CFO Duane Young. The law firm of McManimon & Scotland is also said to be gone, though not yet replaced.

It will be interesting to find out -- if we ever do -- why Williamson and Young were either terminated or left of their own free will before the end of their contracts, which were due to expire June 30.

The contract had by the former executive director (posted online by DumpPMUA, see here) provided a month's severance for each year worked if the contract were not renewed, and the continuation of payments and benefits to term unless the separation was "for cause".

I do not know to what extent Williamson and Young's contracts mirror the above, though it might be hoped they are somewhat less generous overall than were those of Watson and Ervin.

Bernice wondered aloud in her Friday post (see here) about an agenda item for Monday's special meeting appointing a "second signatory". This would be easily explained if in fact the only two signatories on checks approved by the Commissioners' annual resolution were Williamson and Young. If that were so, their termination would leave the agency without anyone to sign checks, a situation that could not be tolerated for long.

If a new executive director is waiting in the wings and may be appointed (along with a CFO) at Monday's special meeting, things are moving very quickly indeed.

I am also told that with regard to replacing the PMUA's accountants -- Lerch Vinci & Higgins -- there were more than 20 responses to an RFP. That must certainly mean that the cost of those services will come down, perhaps sharply.

And if the management consultants said to be eyeballing the operations come up with some cost-saving proposals, PMUA ratepayers may finally be seeing some relief.

It certainly has been a long time in coming, and customers have Mayor Mapp's persistence to thank for any lightening of the onerous burden of PMUA's rates.

One hopes that in all this rush the Commissioners are making sure to cross all the t's and dot all the i's. Doing so will strengthen them against the inevitable assaults by those whose toes are being pinched by the new shoes.

Board of Commissioners Special Meeting

Monday | May 4
6:00 PM

PMUA Headquarters
127 Roosevelt Avenue
(corner East 2nd Street)
Parking in agency lot or on the street

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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