Saturday, February 10, 2007

Power to the people

Here's the thing: I strongly believe that the problems at CUC can only be solved if it becomes a truly public utility with an elected board* or if it is completely privatized. So strongly that I wrote a letter to the editor, and that's something I try to avoid. Direct accountability, either to voters or to shareholders, is the only hope for efficiency.

The only answer, if it was addressed to my letter, was from a politician I used to support saying that privatization might cost jobs and those nasty folks would want to make a profit too. Well, sorry if that's true, but that is no answer. Except, of course, that I understand how many voters are employed by CUC. The idea of an elected board is never considered, because that would take influence away from the Executive and Legislative branches.

I don't think the linemen, tradesmen, trades helpers, meter readers, power plant operators and customer service people have anything to worry about. Their jobs aren't going away and their pay is reasonable if not low for what they do.

Whose jobs are we talking about then? Oh, the people who plan and budget capital improvements, schedule maintenance and procure parts. You know, parts like the defective photocells on the 24-hour streetlights.

Obviously, the administration thinks the answer is to privatize the first group and put the second group under the direct control of the Lieutenant Governor so he can correct the problems of previous mismanagement.

My mind boggles.

*Wouldn't a recall petition be fun?

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