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Norwich utilities commissioner proposes reforms to end ‘duopoly’ of control

December 20, 2018

Norwich — Members of the city utilities commission learned in mid-November about a newly negotiated 100,000 in personal expenses from CMEEC funds.

“We have to look at our rules and how we govern ourselves and how we communicate to the public,” Staley said of his proposals. “NPU has taken a hit in terms of image, and I think a lot of it as far as this board is concerned, is unfair, because it happened before we started.”

Staley also recommended the board establish a Financial and Accounting Subcommittee to oversee utility financial matters and report back to the full board. A Business and Economic Development Subcommittee would work with Acting General Manager Chris LaRose, who was appointed Nov. 15 when Bilda was placed on leave — and report activity to the full board.

Board members Steve Becker and Michael Goldblatt said Wednesday they support Staley’s recommendations, and the board is expected to discuss them at the Jan. 22 board meeting. Goldblatt said the board needs to strike a balance between providing required oversight and not micromanaging the utility.

“I loved Bob Staley’s reforms,” Becker said. “I think they were well received by the board. I think we will look into them in depth and see how we refine them. I think it’s good for NPU and good for the board.”

c.bessette@theday.com

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