Thursday, August 28, 2008

Capital budget vote deadlocked at 4-4

You may have noticed the capital budget was not adopted tonight. If deadlocked with a 4-4 tie. Laura Decaprio wasn't there and no one could get a hold of her. I hope everything is alright.

Besides that, I think the meeting went well. I thought concerns were voiced and a vote was taken... though apparently a capital budget would need to be adopted by September 5. So I understand the Council will need to have a special meeting between now and next Friday. I'm hoping we can schedule it prior to our Solid Waste Committee / full Council meeting next Thursday, Sept. 4... a meeting where we'll be discussing the trash disposal facility.

Anyway... the meeting went well and Tom Ruocco offered a responsible, alternative budget. While I have no interest in spending any money on the pool until we have a comprehensive action plan, I compromised and supported his budget. And his budget did speak to another extremely pressing concern - putting in place a town wide comprehensive action plan for energy conservation.

Therein seemed to be the only point of contention. You may have noticed at the end of the capital budget discussion (when the Chairman speaks), Matt Hall echoed comments previously made by Matt Altieri and Elizabeth Esty. And with his comments, I felt the same way that I felt toward the comments of Mr. Altieri and Mrs. Esty.

But here's the great thing about The Tubes... we can really dissect these things. So I offer this question - what's happening with performance contracting? It's the same question I asked on June 1, 2008. And here are some thoughts...

While I have personally told the above Council members of towns that use PC... and have told the above Council members of ESCOs that engage in PC... the above Council members did not make the promise:
Therein lies the missing link. For all the intellectual dishonesty regarding performance contracting... the above Council members didn't make the promise. Yet in all the discussion I've heard on this topic during the 08/09 capital budget discussions... I've yet to hear the Promissor opine on the lack of consideration of performance contracting in this year's capital budget.

Anybody think there's a chance that a great deal of information has been emailed directly to the Budget Chair? And perhaps he unilaterally decided to break the promise? And now his fellow Dems are covering for his failure to consider performance contracting?

IMO, if the majority was fair and nonpartisan about this whole discussion they wouldn't be questioning me and making ridiculous comments that are tantamount to George Bush blaming Nancy Pelosi for shortcomings in the 2005 Energy Policy Act.

In the real world, this makes no sense. It reminds me of The Chewbacca Defense.

But here's a question that must be asked - will the majority question a member of their own party the way they question me?

And for Chairman Hall and his suggestion that he and I form our own Ad Hoc Committee on Performance Contracting I offer there's no need. Watch the above video. PC is already on the Budget Committee's agenda. Perhaps the request should be for the Budget Committee to take action?

And to wrap up, the MRJ's article on tonight's meeting is already online (by Jesse Buchanan).

Tim White


Anonymous said...

Everything Tom Ruocco said made sense. But the unfortunate thing is that once DeCaprio shows up at the next meeting she's going to vote along party lines and the much larger capital budget will be passed.

Anonymous said...

Is there a plan to campaign against the referendums that will be put to vote?
Let us know.