Official Statement-Proposed Charter Changes (1-16-15)

Jan. 16, 2015
PWC Official Statement about City Council proposed changes to Charter

“From the beginning, PWC Commissioners have sought to clarify the roles and responsibilities outlined by the NC General Assembly in the original charter. The legislature intentionally created a separate, independent board to manage the utility and that model has worked well for the City of Fayetteville and PWC customers since 1905.

The City Council’s suggested revisions would radically alter PWC’s governance model. They would make PWC just another department of the city under the full control and authority of the City Manager and allow the City Council to remove Commissioners at will.  That would limit the role of PWC Commissioners to that of an advisory board.   These changes would also allow politics to have greater influence in PWC operations by making Commissioners subject to changing political winds.

Specifically, these changes would likely disrupt the Commissioner’s extended tenure of up to 12 years.   PWC oversees $1.1 Billion in assets and spends approximately $1 Million per day to provide electric, water and waste water treatment to this community.  To effectively manage such a valuable and complex organization that regularly makes decisions with consequences  far into the future, requires an experienced and stable group of Commissioners that think strategically and long-term.

At a time when technology and alternative energy sources are rapidly changing, and when quality and competitive utility services are a core component to our economic environment, such a radical change in the governance of PWC, we feel, would be a mistake.  We feel it would be in the City’s best interest to have a stable utility not subject to rapidly changing political environments.

We trust in the wisdom of our legislative delegation and will let them determine whether to reverse 110 years of successful operating practices or maintain the current structure with the clarifications set forth by the Commissioners. “- Mike Lallier, PWC Chairman

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