Money Wasted

Lake Worth Utilities
Waste Meter
... for an arc flash study that Mr. Reyes was qualified to do in house and at no cost to taxpayers.
... the estimated engineering cost of the express feeder which could also be done in house at no cost to taxpayers.
... wasted when insurance requirements were circumvented by the city manager and utility director.
... wasted when plant manager Dave Mulvay’s first attempt at writing a scope of work contained a defect that cost taxpayers an extra $123,098 for tainting the bidding process and giving unfair advantage to one bidder over another. - April 2009
... wasted when the Matrix organizational study to save taxpayers money was scrapped in favor of higher cost outsourcing by city manager Stanton.
... wasted engineering design cost of water piping and tanks (original county water deal) that will never be built.
... wasted when additional costs were incurred for not following insurance procedure on transformer repair.
... wasted when the commission unanimously voted to order transformers when we had equivalent replacements already in stock since the upgrade. - 15 Sep. 2009
Total Taxpayer Dollars Wasted:

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27 November 2021 18:34:16 EST

  Commission workshop - misinformation and confusion abound
Posted on Wednesday, September 26, 2007 @ 19:54:31 EST by admin

LW Utilities

Commission workshop - 9/26


misinformation and confusion abound

The meeting took place today at 3 PM and was over at 5:15 PM. The commission room was packed with utility employees eager to get on with spending whatever money to get the RO system up and get the FMPA deal finalized. The misinformation to the commission continued with opening statements from Mr Faried mumbling that FPL is getting out of the nuclear business and their rates will be going up 38%.

This was reminiscent of the same hype from the propaganda ministry of the previous utility director… cleverly targeted to an audience that can be easily confused.

Mr Faried went on telling the commission that Lake Worth electric rates were lower than FPL rates. That is also untrue. I checked the OOP (out-of-pocket) rate about a month ago and LW rates are still about 10% higher than FPL rates.

No one seemed concerned about the FMPA rate increases that next year will put our rates 15 to 25% higher… not to mention the 9 or 10% added by our own increases to cover debt service. Part of the FMPA increase comes from the heavy debt service because they are investing heavily in natural gas which is probably not going to be a good thing in the long term. The rest of their increase comes from the fact they are losing their cheapest contract which happens to be with FPL.

The real bottom line of all this fiddle faddle is:

…that no one on the city staff is qualified to lead the city in a decision of this magnitude. Over the next thrity years, this amounts to a billion dollar deal. No one knows anything about power supply but they insist that other power providers ready to make offers... just don't exist. Nothing could be further from the truth as Vero Beach has found plenty of providers ready to deal. But I don’t think this commission has the nerve to pull the plug on FMPA and if they don't now, there's no hope of ever getting out. That's right, NEVER.

Instead, it’s much easier to just go along with the current and the tide and accept what staff is saying and commit the people to 20 – 30 years of direct control over our rates and our generation by FMPA. “Having it [generation] in our own backyard is worth it…” but no one seemed concerned what we would be paying for it and what we’re giving up for it.

It’s a billion dollar deal over the next 30 years, and you would think it was a sidewalk maintenance contract they were considering... wasn’t a question of who was going to do it, just how to include fixing the crack uncle Fester complained about in the contract.

Cara Jennings seemed out of character showing no concern about shopping a better deal or not… she focused exclusively on the breakdown of green house emissions from the proposed generation and seemed amenable to an FMPA deal as long someone gives her those emission gas results.

Mr Faried continued skewing information as he went on to ridicule any attempt to exit from FMPA by mischaracterizing it as a “divorce” when he should have said a “separation.” A divorce is final, a separation is not... couples can make up and often do. Exiting FMPA is a five year separation that can result in a divorce 5 years down the road or we can come back into the program. Even now, FMPA would welcome Vero Beach back and they are 3 years into getting out of FMPA.

Then like the previous utility director, Mr Faried engaged the scare tactic of speaking of “halacious amounts of money and penalties” if we try to get out of FMPA. Initially the Task Force was deceived by this tactic when Rick Miller the bond agent spoke of the 160 million costs if we tried to get out of FMPA. (note that Rick Miller’s company gets a juicy percentage of the 69 million bond) That’s when I realized he either worked for FMPA or he should work for them. Later, the Task Force held a less favorable view of Mr Miller as they realized he conveniently forgot to reveal the existence of the 5 year withdrawal clause in the FMPA contract.

He was there today adding further confusion and misinformation with some people thinking that getting out of FMPA meant the city would have to instantly pay all its revenue bonds. It was a circus exact replay from two years ago. Mr Miller apparently sounded so much like an FMPA employee that the mayor’s curiosity was sufficiently aroused and he finally asked Miller if he was an employee of FMPA… Miller responded “no.”

The final count for the Electric Utility Task Force was one member, the vice chair and the chair showing up. The two alternates came with Mr Kelly nervously pacing around refusing to sit next to the chairman. The vice chair left early saying "no sense hanging around, they already made up their minds." After the meeting when asked for an interview, an exasperated Mary Lindsey said "no one would listen to me anyway."


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Re: Commission workshop - misinformation and confusion abound (Score: 1)
by ILoveLW on Thursday, September 27, 2007 @ 07:40:14 EST
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Excellent report. Was Mock Roos hanging out?


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