Thursday, August 06, 2009

A brief history of Council discussions on performance contracting

A few days ago I posted an email from Councilman Matt Altieri that provided an update on his view on performance contracting. At the time, I promised a brief history on just some of the times that performance contracting was discussed by the Council. Here's that history:

August 30, 2007 - During the capital budget vote, I requested that the following year's $1,900,000 CHS electric retrofit be considered for performance contracting. Councilman Mike Ecke responded by saying he would consider PC, but he needed specific projects. So I repeated my request that PC be used for the $1,900,000 CHS electric retrofit:

I declared victory too soon.

December 17, 2007 - The Budget Committee discussed PC and concluded the meeting by asking the Energy Commission (EC) to provide additional information.

December 18, 2007 - The EC Chair, Rich Ogurick, asked me for Ecke's email address... then forwarded add'l PC information to Ecke.

January 2008 - Chairman Ogurick asked me if Ecke had done anything. I recall following up with Ecke and getting no response. I didn't mention this on the blog at that time because I incorrectly believed that elected officials would do the right thing and follow through on their promises.

March 11, 2008 - Jimmy Sima asked about using performance contracting as a financing mechanism for the construction of the then-estimated $1,900,000 CHS electric retrofit. DPW Director Joe Michelangelo explained that the Council would need to consider that.

May 30, 2008 - Ecke made a statement in the MRJ that my blog was like the "bathroom wall" and he didn't read such things.

June 1, 2008 - I posted on my blog that Ecke had done nothing on PC for nine months.

June 2, 2008 - Ecke emailed me saying that he'd been "busy" and requested that I send him the PC information again. Again, no followup from Ecke.

August 24, 2008 - During the capital budget, I said the Council failed to act on the (Ecke & Esty) promise to seriously consider PC. Altieri and Esty blamed me for failing to explain PC to them. During this same meeting, Ecke sat there silently, never disclosing the fact that he was repeatedly given information by both me and Ogurick. I viewed this as a lie of omission by Ecke.... but what's new about Councilman Truth?

May 26, 2009 - The building assessment consultant discussions happened. I suggested the Council consider using PC as an alternative to a cash outlay of $150,000. Altieri said the Council had discussed and dismissed PC as a financing option. Then I recapped the above history for him (on TV)... basically showing Ecke to be untruthful. And since neither Ecke nor Altieri responded to me, I concluded that my reminder on the recent Council history had Altieri feeling as though Ecke had thrown him under the bus. (Sorry - no video handy for this, but I'll try to get it up as some point.)

July 29, 2009 - Damage control! Based on reading Altieri's email, I infer that Matt has reached the same conclusion that I have. Councilman Mike Ecke adds little value to the Council and one cannot count on him to fulfill his promises.

After Ecke effectively threw Altieri under the bus, how could Matt ever trust him again? Nope. Altieri has decided to go it alone on this. And as I said before, my guess is that Matt is sincerely open to the idea. And if he feels there's real merit (not only in terms of damage control, but also in terms of saving money and energy), then he may actually have a sitdown with The Boss and tell The Boss that all these credit rating upgrades on The Boss' resume are not as important as saving money and conserving energy. Of course, The Boss will immediately respond with straw man after straw man... making it crystal clear that such disobedience will not be tolerated among Council members!

As for the conclusion of that conversation?... I'm guessing it will end after November 3rd.

I implore you... find five people who are willing to direct The Boss. He needs some direction bigtime... and among the 19 candidates running... Councilman Truth is the most averse to directing The Boss.

Tim White


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry Tim, I still think it is political posturing on Altieri's part.
I think he wants to show that he is trying to appease you so he can show what a "nice guy" he is.
I will be shocked if it goes anywhere.
Altieri also needs to explain why it has taken this long to begin discussing PC, he didn't seem to interested last year.

Bringing up PC to be PC, that is his plan.

Breachway said...

Finalyy some common sense from the herald: Have the pool open only during the summmer....

Anonymous said...

Add one more date to the timeline:

Nov.3, 2009: A new fiscally responsible majority is elected to the Town Council, and begins to seriously investigate performance contracting and other cost-cutting options.