A Tallahassee Utility Authority-The Rationale

The push to acquire signatures supporting a Tallahassee Utility Authority began on April 15, 2009. To date we have gathered almost 750 signatures.

The goal is to have as many signatures as possible when the Tallahassee City Commission has the public forum addressing possible changes to the City Charter. The date of the forum will be announced on Wednesday April 22, 2009.

You can  support the movement by going to tallahasseereports.com and downloading the form. Fill out all the information, sign the form, and then either fax it or mail it to our office.

Over the coming weeks, tallahasseereports.com will provide information on the benefits and challenges associated with a Tallahassee Utility Authority.

Today we begin our discussion with three reasons why a change is needed.

First, the mission of our electric utility needs to be to provide the most reliable electricity at the most cost effective price.

Currently, if you go to the TalGov site on the electric utility, there is no clear mission stated (click here to go the TalGov electric utility page).  However, there is a lot of information on green initiatives.

A Tallahassee Utility Authority will allow a clear mission to be stated and the focus of the organization can be applied to implement this mission.

Second, the Tallahassee Utility Authority would have the power to approve spending and set rates.

Currently, the City Commission approves spending and utility rates. This would be a big change and would have to somehow deal with the current $22 million transfer.

Third, the Tallahassee Utility Authority should be structured to provide the most accountability to the citizens.

Currently, it appears a lot of decisions are made in a vacuum. For example, smart meters – no public forums. A structure which had a more diverse and focused decision making body should be able to be more responsive to its customers.

Let the discussion begin. Let us know what you think the most important reasons are for petitioning for a Tallahassee Utility Authority by posting comments on this story.

3 Responses to "A Tallahassee Utility Authority-The Rationale"

  1. I have a proposed solution coming forward to the concerns of an authority – although I would support an authority as well… especially if appointed by the Governor and not beholden to our locally elected officials…

  2. Be careful what you wish for. Whereas a City Commission is elected by the people of the community and are answerable to them, an Authority is appointed by the Governor and are not necessarily selected from the community. Community standards are sometimes sacrificed for efficiency and cost effectiveness. For example, coal fired generators produce cheaper electricity but is that what Tallahassee wants?

  3. I think that having accountability and finding the most efficient &cost effective utilities is the most important reason for having a Tallahassee Utility Authority.

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