We don’t trust the County Council that we elected; we do trust the Utility Board appointed by the council.
We can recall elected officials but not the utility board. The Council can appoint but not remove Utility Board members.
Council meetings are televised. Utility Board meetings are not.
Everyone has a boss. Private utility companies are held accountable by state regulatory agencies and boards of directors. Our public utility needs to be accountable to the council. The fundamental issue that charter amendment #2 addresses is accountability of the Utility Board. Once appointed, board members determine utility department policy with very little interaction with council other than the annual budget approval process.
Charter amendment #2 defines a process for resolving differences between the board and council and gives the council authority to remove a board member with a super majority vote of 6 to 1. The autonomy of the Utility Department will be preserved to the extent allowed by state statute. Charter amendment #2 will ensure council and public input to our publicly owned utility.
I believe the current Charter Article V is broken. It is time to fix it. Please vote for charter amendment #2.