Put the public back in our public utility before Tuesday the 22nd

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We, the undersigned, respectfully ask that the City Council of Harrisonburg take the following actions in relation to the appointment of Commissioners to the Harrisonburg Electric Commission.  We feel that these actions are necessary to protect the public interest within our municipal utility.

There are several concerns that we have regarding the manner in which HEC currently operates:

1.     The HEC Commission functions as a self-nominating commission.  Although city council appoints candidates put forth by HEC, HEC has not publicly invited interested residents to apply for openings on the commission.  Desired qualifications of candidates are also not found in the city code.

2.     The HEC Commission has requested reappointment of commissioner David Frackelton. Frackelton’s public facebook posts (attached) appear inconsistent with recently adopted sustainability goals. Reappointment would be inconsistent with the City's commitment to sustainability.

3.     The City Council has recently embraced the goals of sustainability in City operations.  HEC is a public utility owned by the City and cannot reasonably be excluded from this commitment.


Given these concerns, we respectfully ask the City Council to:

1.  ✔ Halt the process of appointing HEC Commissioners to allow for more a more open, transparent and robust nomination process.

2.     Publish criteria for being on the HEC Commission and reopen an application process for the public to apply for the commission positions.

3.     Request that HEC consider candidates for the Commission that are in alignment with recently affirmed sustainability goals (October 23, 2018).

4. ✔ Require HEC to publicly post the applications of all candidates being recommended for appointment just like other public boards and commissions do.

5.     Request that the City Attorney evaluate the city code regarding HEC and incorporate the values of sustainability, transparency, and public voice into Section 8 of the city code.


Please only sign this if you are a resident of Harrisonburg.

If you would like to contact City Council directly, their emails are:


Christopher.Jones@harrisonburgva.gov

Deanna.Reed@harrisonburgva.gov

George.Hirschmann@harrisonburgva.gov

Sal.Romero@harrisonburgva.gov

Richard.Baugh@harrisonburgva.gov

 



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