Sunday, February 19, 2012

Questions to HL & P Board

While local electricity users may be heartened by the decision of the HL & P Board of Directors' “Personnel Board” to “recommend termination” of their massive pay increase, many are still awaiting the answer to how, and why, this all came about.
Somehow Mayor Phillips' rationale that “If the public is going to be upset we need to terminate this,” does not seem to be sufficient explanation. This answer sounds more like, 'whoops, we got caught enriching ourselves, so we'd better back off a little.' 
There was no mention of an apology or an admission of an erroneous policy, no mention of returning the money being repaid.    
By the time of the Board meeting Wednesday, some members will have received about $15,000 under the guise of health benefits.
One former Councilman has declared this simply a “bonehead decision,” others conclude that it was a calculated plan of greed.

Here are a few questions that need to be asked - and answered: 
  • Where are/were checks and balances against this type of action? 
  •  By whom was this idea concocted and promoted? 
  • Why was there no proper notification or explanation for this action? 
  •  When will the money be returned? 
  • Why are board members paid for not attending meetings? 
  •  Are there other entities who have, or are, doing similar things? 
  •  If not paid for by increased electric rates or taxes, how was it paid for? 
  • Last, but not least: How do we prevent this type of misfeasance from occurring again?
As Mayor Phillips promised in January, the HLP Board meeting is the proper place for a discussion and an explanation. We will eagerly anticipate that at 4:15 PM today (Wed.) after the petition is submitted.

MANY more comments can be found on the petition by signers.   Here are a few of recent ones, posted in the last two days:
  • "This smacks of the outrageous salaries opted by California municipalities. Check out what happened to them. Remember who we are! And what we can do if provoked."
  • "Too angry to comment."
  • "In my opinion, they should be removed from the board and banned forever from any board, and banned from running for any type of public office. It might help also if their businesses were boycotted. That might help send a very clear message that " ENOUGH IS ENOUGH" 
  • "How disgusting that these leaders feel like they deserve such outrageous compensation. The ones that voted for this do not deserve our votes in the next election. If they can be so blatantly unethical on this, what little things are getting by the public where they are cheating on?" 
  • 'Doesn't seem ethical at all to me. Let the people who pay vote on such changes. Wow, it sounds about like what is going on in our national government! Hope we can stop this now!" 
  • And from an Email in response to this from a Board Member "The personnel committee met yesterday.  No decision was made to make any recommendations to the full board as of yet.  We will be meeting again but not meeting date was set.  No minutes were taken.  There will be a press release to the media in next week’s paper.  I have not seen the press release so I can’t give you any information regarding that.  I am sorry I am such a disappointment to you.  Perhaps you should consider running for office."    ==      "No need to be nasty I only spoke the truth about your responsibilities to your constituents it has nothing to do with whether I run for office, you did run for office and answer to your constituents and ratepayers.   You are showing a great deal of arrogance.  Why was their no minutes of this latest meeting  isn't that something that has to be done.  How can there be a press release that you haven't seen?  Who wrote the press release this just doesn't sound right.  I will pass your response to all the people I know.  You broke the trust and feel justified in being sarcastic to someone who has the right to question you.  When I first called you should have responded with an explanation of why you voted the way you did.  Each time you avoid speaking to the citizens it appears that you can do what you want and just really don't care.   I also asked you to let me know what other boards you serve on and what the compensation is.
Hmm, has anyone seem that press release?
++++++++++++++++++             ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Here are a few more questions:

How are Board members chosen? 

Is it required that elected official must be members?    If so, by what, or whom?

How often do board members missed meetings?

How long is the average meeting? 
Who set up the Human Resources committee?         In which meeting?

Members?    Who chose them?

What is the difference between the HR and Personnel committees?

Are there any minutes of "committee" meetings?

How many other subcommittees are under HLP Board?

When was the comprehensive review study initiated?    When completed?

Why wasn't the item placed on the agenda earlier that November?

When was the item placed on the agenda?

When were McDonald and Kohler excused from the meeting?

In your opinion, did the notice and agenda effectively explain the meeting?

Did anyone suggest that a more informative notice might be required?

Did you have any idea this might be controversial?

When was board eligibility for health benefits discussed?

Is any other Wasatch County entity offering in-lieu of payments?

Has this idea of in-lieu of payments been rejected by any  other entity in the county?

Are in-lieu of payments being made for employees? How many are taking that option?

Where was a notice made of this action so the public would know about it?

Why is there no mention of providing health insurance in the Manual changes?

How were the manual change proposals distributed to the board for their consideration?

Who wrote the press release to the Trib?    Who approved it?

Why did that notice refer to an effective date of July for benefits?

If changes were made for new hires (effective July) to SAVE money, why increase board benefits to SPEND money?

Was there specifically a question asked about the legality of this action? when?

Where, when, and how was the decision made to allow insurance for board members written?

How many Board members took advantage of the health Insurance in 2011?  2012?

Where in the 2011 budget was this item - or was it adjusted in Dec to accommodate the pay raise?

How much input did you receive from the public before approving this?

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