There are at least 251 Municipal Owned Utilities in the United States.One of the advantages of the citizens owning the utility is we get a say in how itís run, and what it costs us in the long term.Supporters of mine from 2008-2009 and today are not confident in the day to day operations, budget, and procedures of CU.I think one of the perceived problems is that Tom Finnie, long time City Manager of the City of Springfield, is currently on the Board of Public Utilities.His term expires December 2011.If elected, I would have a hard time reappointing Mr. Finnie to our Board of Public Utilities because of his mismanagement while chief executive of the City.I have to admit that I voted for the SW2 power plant construction back in June 2006.The pitch CU employees made then were that we were going to be self-sufficient by adding SW2, and we would go from being a power buyer to a power seller.Here is one of the graphs they used.

If I had been on the Council as Mayor in October 2010, I would not have voted for the rate increase.This sounds in conflict with my vote in 2006.The reason I could not support the rate increase was because of the situation of our economy in 2010, and the fact that the Council had voted for a $30 million/year tax increase that passed by a vote of the people in November 2009.The vote by Council in October 2010 to go ahead with the rate increase went as follows:OíNeal, Compton, Rush, Stephens and Bailes voted in favor of the bill, while Ibarra, Rushefsky, Burlison and Chiles voted against.Something else was said at that meeting that is very concerning.Several Council members wondered aloud if it might not be better to remove City Council from the process altogether.While my opponent did vote against increasing our electric rates, this vote points out a bigger problem with the current makeup of our Council.It will not only take Council members willing to vote the right way, but vocal leadership to stand up against the group of Council members who see rate increases and tax increases as a way to bring about their vision for Springfield.