I find it hard to believe that ElectriCities can say with a straight face that they are assessing all positions for critical needs and trimming their budget when they add staff - lobbyists, communications, temporary secretaries - and still give merit raises and have parties. Unbelievable.
They trimmed the eastern agency $725 million budget. There was an error in the story about how Rocky Mount voted that inflamed a few dozen people before it was corrected.
This is my favorite line,
"'I, as well as the ElectriCities board, will scrutinize the expenditures we make in 2009,' said ElectriCities interim chief operating officer Art Hubert."
We are waiting for some scrutinizing but so far we just see some spending. But this is actually humorous
"Hubert said after revisiting the budget, he and ElectriCities staff eliminated retention money for personnel and VIP events; senior staff merit pay; reduced merit pay for employees from 3.8 percent to 2.2 percent; made reductions in travel expenditures and reduced consultant services by more that $120,000. The overall budget trimming totaled $564,000 out of the $725.8 million budget, Hubert said."
Seriously, BlueNC posters, please explain to me how I should be thrilled over this pathetic reduction of things that should have been eliminated back when there was a 14% rate increase. Poor staff, no VIP events and reduction in consultants of $120,000 on budgets of consultants in the millions. This is a pathetic excuse for a news story, a pathetic budget reduction. Does anyone really expect us to believe this makes a difference one bit in this world?
But let me add that Mr. Stevens, Mr. Noble and according to the Wilson paper, Mr. Craft did make some adjustments to staff merit increases so I do commend them for what they did, however, in the big scheme of things, it is rather small. I am amazed that Rocky Mount, the shrinking city, did not put up a huge fuss at this meeting. Electric rates are killing this city.