Electricities; How do you spell M-I-S-M-A-N-A-G-E-M-E-N-T?



I don't even know where to start except KUDOS to Dew, Knight, Blackwell and Henderson and Herrin of the Rocky Mount Telegram. I am scared to read my emails.

1) "The officials also went along with a motion brought forth by Tarboro Town Manager Sam Noble, who serves as the chairman of ElectriCities' board of directors, to eliminate the $1,000-a-month payment to board members. He said that will save about $100,000 a year. Board members will receive mileage for going to the meetings, and there is normally food served at them."

This does not add up. It is more than $160,000K. So DO IT NOW in 2008 not in 2009. What the heck. Save 5 months, show good faith, feel some pain. Mercy.

2) "Noble said the board also will be carefully scrutinizing the 2009 budget to "make sure it's more conservative.""

What the H*** have they been doing? Skimming it? Do it for 2008.

""We'll look at all costs – consulting costs, travel costs, lobbying costs and salaries," he said."

Bout D*** time. Cut them, cut them now, cut them out. Don't wait for 2009. Cop out.

"Of the 103 ElectriCities' full and part-time employees, 29 earn six-figure salaries, and 23 earn between $80,000 and $100,000 a year."

This is worse than anything I received, heard, imagined. I am speechless.

3) "Noble told the city leaders that Tilton's job performance and salary also will soon be evaluated."

I hope so and I hope it is a long session with a long list. MISMANAGEMENT, NO LEADERSHIP, NO ABILITY TO LEAD IN CRISIS, ETC ETC

4) "Kenneth M. Raber, senior vice president of ElectriCities Services/North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency who made the presentation to city officials on Wednesday, said before the meeting that even if ElectriCities staff was cut in half, it still would not save enough money to impact the customers' electric rates."


""We've cut this (budget) to the bone," he said."

Yeah right.

"Noble told officials it would be fiscally irresponsible not to approve of the 14 percent increase.
"We're bleeding money," he said."

So are we my man. So are we. It was fiscally irresponsible to let all these costs slip by without scrutinizing them. You think?


ElectriCities - Mismanagement/Malfeasance/No oversight ...

Al Manning, retiree, native of eastern NC and proud of it, plenty of time to read, research and get annoyed about the lack of accountability in elected leaders these days. Married to a real southern lady and we live with two labs and two airedales who run

Analyze ElectriCities

I am getting stuck on sorting through all of these suggestions. Ideas? anyone anyone?

Al Manning, retiree, native of eastern NC and proud of it, plenty of time to read, research and get annoyed about the lack of accountability in elected leaders these days. Married to a real southern lady and we live with two labs and two airedales who run

Make a big list and post it

without analysis. Just get it out there. We can all help you think through the ideas.

Lists of Cuts from Sources

I just read up on Wachovia - CEO, CFO, Risk Officer - all gone. Compare to ElectriCities - CFO gone, CEO and Risk Officer (Clay Norris) holding on for life in the face of their ugly salary revelations and percentage increases on their salaries.

We asked for the following cuts:
$168,000 per year for Board member Salaries (all of them), starting September 1 since the rate increase started August 1. But we left out the $6000 per year the Chairman gets so COST SAVINGS $174,000 SO FAR THEY HAVE SAID 6 eastern members only beginning 2009

Reduction in CEO salary to $250,000, a savings of $200,000 and termination of current contract for the CEO amid mismanagement, misallocation of funds for staff salary increases. NO WORD YET

Elimination of its out of state Myrtle Beach Party, a savings of more than $100,000 plus the additional costs cities incur for travel, meals and lodging. NO WORD YET

Elimination of staff retreats, out of state travel, savings of more than $200,000 NO WORD YET

Elimination of positions in senior management and salary adjustments eliminating double digit salary increases over the past five years, savings of more than $2 million NO WORD YET

Elimination of contract lobbyists and excessive staff lobbyists based on excessive turnover (80%), savings of $500,000 NO WORD YET

Restrict the legal budget expenses to $150,000, savings of more than $400,000 NO WORD YET

Hiring freeze NO WORD YET

Restriction of salary adjustments to 2% for the lowest paid employees only. NO WORD YET

Elimination of bonuses. NO WORD YET

Streamlining functions within ElectriCities to achieve elimination of positions. NO WORD YET

--- We estimated $3-4 million in cuts, not much in a $700 million budget

I find it fascinating that Sam Noble says they need to review the salary increases, salaries, consultant spending, yada yada, yada. Was he not reviewing it as part of the Board? Would they not expect that of the CEO?

1. Apparently Sam Noble chose the board salary cut for 2009, since he would no longer be chairman then. This way he keeps his $1500 a month for the rest of this year. He should probably sharpen his pencil a little more next time he wakes up at 4 am. It is amazing that many city managers and city councils had no idea these board members were hauling down these bucks. Thanks to the Rocky Mount Telegram, people know. But what else don't they know? A lot, we think.

Are any of the staff on the board getting their salaries sent to their towns and added to their salary there for retirement benefits? At least one email we got tells us this is the case. Is this legal? I guess the towns would have to tell us this or ElectriCities CFO. No telling what the real cost of this is.

2. Annual Meetings are at Resorts, usually a long way from the cities. Typical Costs $150,000.
Cut and hold the meeting/workshop in one of the cities or at ElectriCities. One day event. SAVE $150,000

3. Every October there is an employee appreciation day – off site lunch, prepaid credit card - Cost $10,000. CUT

4. Logo items-Hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of junk with logos on it. Stressballs, pens, plastic calculators, little flashlights, etc, etc. – Cost $200,000. CUT

5. Trade shows. No need to spend money on booths and staff travel and giev-aways to go to trade shows. No competition. – Cost $100,000 CUT

6. Magazine/newspaper/web subscriptions.-trade journals, websites and newspapers - $5000 CUT DOWN

7.Catering dollars, bottled water, cans of coke and coffeee service, Hotel meeting space and catering costs. Have meetings on member city property or at EC headquarters. Bring a bag lunch. Cost $50,000 CUT DOWN TO REASONABLE AMOUNTS
(Note: Apparently the CEO has very expensive taste and has to have special expensive cookies brought in for board meetings, $2 per cookie.)

8. At least 5 Board members drive up the night before and stay at Raliegh hotels and go out to dinner and charge it all back to ElectriCities, They do. And they wine and dine. Cut it. No more day before travel or it's on your dime. Sorry. These are tough times. $12,000 CUT IT. All cities are in driving distance.

9. Printing- $100,000 for their annual report that is late. Use a CD for financials. Cut some on the brochures, economic development slicks, and fact sheets. Apparently there are 10-12 outside consultants, printers and others who develop these publications even though they have 6 or 7 staff who are supposed to do it. CUT $100,000 Printing, $250,000 consultants, printers, writers. Print what is necessary.

10. Advertising - cut for now, cities do it anyway. Public Power week-Cut all the freebiew. Economic development ads-Cut some. SAVE $200,000

11. Energy Solution Partners - NO idea what this is. Supposedly $100,000

12. Cut Sponsorships to three or four key ones. Apparently they have sponsored birthday parties for the NORTHEAST REGIONAL PARTNERSHIP, Government meetings, transmission meetings ($200k), economic development conferences and Association of Broadcaster meetings. Cut save at least $300,000

13.American Public Power Association meetings (APPA)-numerous APPA events and conferences through-out the year at places like Colorado, Washington DC, Las Vegas, etc. Cut all but absolutely necessary and save $150,000

14. Lobbying events-cut Legislative Appreciation recpetions in Raleigh and a Congressional reception in DC. $30,000 CUTS

15. Professional Memberships-Do you know they have memberships in numerous professional organizations that require annual dues and fees? Many are very expensive. And this doesn't include Chamber of Commerce annual dues, Electric Trade Association annual dues, etc. etc. Cut to the absolutely necessary $100,000

16. Twice a year golf and fishing events, numerous golf outings, gym equipment (thanks Clay Norris), big screen TV's in meeting rooms. Cut $250,000

All of this adds up to another $2 million approximately and still leaves funds for the critical activities. So, it seems there is room for at least, based on minimal information, $6-7 million in cuts which will make an impression on people.

52 people of 103 make $80k and higher. At least four secretaries make $40-$50k which is the cost of a planning director in many cities. The lobbying costs appear to be $700-800,000 and legal more than $500,000 because of the HR issues, turnover rate. No idea what was paid in settlements.

Here is a comparison on lobbying numbers


Progress Energy

http://www.secretary.state.nc.us/lobbyists/Principal.aspx?PId=8063374 t

Rural Electric Cooperatives


A little excessive, you think?

And, I still submit, that in light of all of this, the legislators who got PAC checks should send them back. That perception in light of all of this pain is only negative.

Al Manning, retiree, native of eastern NC and proud of it, plenty of time to read, research and get annoyed about the lack of accountability in elected leaders these days. Married to a real southern lady and we live with two labs and two airedales who run

Sam Noble Fires at Rocky Mount - ElectriCities saga continues


A tad bit defense I think.

I think Sam Noble should read about the conflicts of serving as a chairman of a group charged with a region vs his day job running a town. If he wanted his electric customers to get notice of an imminent increase, he should jerk a knot in Jesse Tilton for withholding it for so long, and he should have, as Chairman of ElectriCities, enlightened us all in eastern NC a little bit. Mr. Noble, we all found out in June! You have known longer. And, apparently there is no appreciation for process. Mr. Noble could have informed without voting prior to the other votes. It just looks bad to vote before the process has run its course.

Sure he is playing politics. He accused Bruce Rose of it and then he did it with the proposal that is half-hearted -- cut the directors pay next year, after I am chairman and have collected all my $1500 per month for 2008. And this hogwash about oversight and scrutinizing. What have you been doing for $1500 a month? Is is not your duty now to scrutinize and question.

Noble says "The Rocky Mount Telegram provides Tarboro very little coverage and the scant coverage Tarboro receives is usually negative. After all, The Tarboro Daily Southerner is the Tarboro daily newspaper. I would recommend that you focus your coverage in the future on the area where your subscribers are located, which is Rocky Mount."

Well, isnt that a step forward for relationships. No wonder they cannot reach agreement in one of the poorest counties on their $2 million grant, with attitudes like this. Reactionary. Unfortunately Noble does not understand that he just supercharged the debate on the eve of it possibly dwindling. Thanks!

What an idiot


Jesus Swept, this December

Letter to Editor - sam noble, ElectriCities

The letter will just spark more interest. Let him at it. He is defending a losing position. And all the talk about scrutinizing. I think most people wonder how he can pull down a director salary and not scrutinize to this point. Seems to me they all pile all the blame on Tilton now. How can they recover unless he takes the fall for it all? Not sure most city councils will ease up on this now.

To the list above, lets add Transmission Planning and Meetings - apparently the sidekick Clay Norris created some process for transmission planning and the cities do not even own the transmission. Progress Energy does that and we do not need to pay out more money to them. I think the cost, based on the emails I got, is about $200,000.

Al Manning, retiree, native of eastern NC and proud of it, plenty of time to read, research and get annoyed about the lack of accountability in elected leaders these days. Married to a real southern lady and we live with two labs and two airedales who run