Friday, December 15, 2006

They just aren't getting it

An article in today's News-Miner about the GVEA vote by Stefan Milkowski is headlined, "GVEA: Plan to restructure wasn't explained well", and shows clearly that the folks at GVEA just aren't getting the message:
[GVEA board chairman Bill] Nordmark suggested the plan failed because it wasn’t sold well, not because it was a bad idea. He said the bylaws for the new cooperative were probably too complex...

GVEA President Steven Haagenson…said it seemed like people who voted against it fell into three main groups. One group was generally skeptical of the plan and just didn’t think it was smart, he said. Another was perfectly happy with how things were going and didn’t want GVEA to change. And a third didn’t like what happened when the city of Fairbanks sold its utility assets it the 1990s and associated this proposal with that action.
The problem was that they kept trying to SELL it to the membership, not EXPLAIN it; they used numbers that didn't make any sense; and they used language in the ballot information and the presentation that was downright deceptive. I STILL haven't heard from anybody how they justified that $30 million figure, although GVEA board member Dan Osborne has offered to sit me down and "explain how utilities work," so that hopefully I'll "understand GVEA better". I'm hoping he can help me track down what's going on with this figure; Tom DeLong wasn't able to.

Beck may have come up with the savings figure for GVEA, but it's based on something that doesn't seem to make sense (i.e., the 1.75 ratio for margins), and no one's been able to explain this to me yet. Perhaps Osborne can help me out here.

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