Administrative Officer – Servers Under The Sun Fri, 26 Aug 2022 00:45:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Administrative Officer – Servers Under The Sun 32 32 New Braunfels residents question skyrocketing utility bills Fri, 26 Aug 2022 00:45:00 +0000 Timothy Davis said his overall New Braunfels Utilities utility bill was double what it was this time last year.

He reconfigured the family’s air conditioning system and installed attic vents to cut costs, but his most recent electric bill was around $496, even with those adjustments.

“We were caught off guard,” Davis, 45, said of the bill shock this summer.

Davis was one of 60 people seeking answers about the reasons for rising electric bills at a New Braunfels Utility forum on Wednesday night. The utility also hosted a morning forum and live-streamed the presentations explaining why people’s bills have been higher than usual.

The average customer spent about $195 on electricity in July 2021, but that amount rose to about $272 in July, an increase of almost 40%. Bills were higher than usual all summer with record high temperatures, but July was the hardest hit for most customers.

NBU CEO Ian Taylor blamed record summer temperatures that increased customer electricity use, a rise in natural gas prices, and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas’ more conservative approach to network management.

Davis is a member of Citizens of New Braunfels for Responsible Growth, a group formed to “stand up” to city council and advocate for issues such as increased police and parks before high-density apartments in the community.

Like Davis, band member Cheryl Aguirre, 43, said her overall utility bill in July also doubled to $1,000, including $534 for her electricity.

David Hubbard, second from left, chief administrative officer of NBU, answers questions during an electrical community forum presented by New Braunfels Utilities on Wednesday.

Billy Calzada, San Antonio Express-News/Staff Photographer

“It was very unexpected,” Aguirre said. “We can afford to pay it, but it certainly has an impact on our expenses. I mean, I don’t expect to pay a second mortgage. … I had to budget for errands for the month, because most of it goes to energy costs.

Husband and wife Brian Pederson and Julie Schueller said their last electric bill was around $220. They moved to New Braunfels in January, but said they got used to paying around $150 this time of year when they lived in Bexar County.

While the rising costs haven’t caused them much financial trouble, the couple said they’re worried about others who can’t easily cope with a price hike like this.

They plan to turn to solar energy for their house to reduce their bill.

Understand the bill

This year’s average temperatures in May, June and July were more than five degrees warmer than anything recorded in the past decade. The high heat prompted more people to use their air conditioners at the same time as electricity prices rose across the state.

The Texas Tribune reported that many people across the state are paying at least 50% more than last year for electricity, largely due to the effects Russia invading Ukraine has had on the market. Energy. The price of natural gas has risen more than 200% since this invasion, and Texas is exporting more natural gas than usual.

But natural gas isn’t the only culprit. Taylor said after winter storm Uri, ERCOT took a more conservative approach to operating the network to increase reliability.

NBU's Rob Aleman answers questions from Wayne Rudolph during an Electrical Community Forum presented by New Braunfels Utilities on Wednesday, August 24, 2022. Breakout sessions provided customers with information on conservation, rebates, payment plans, solar energy and many more topics.

NBU’s Rob Aleman answers questions from Wayne Rudolph during an Electrical Community Forum presented by New Braunfels Utilities on Wednesday, August 24, 2022. Breakout sessions provided customers with information on conservation, rebates, payment plans, solar energy and many more topics.

Billy Calzada, San Antonio Express-News/Staff Photographer

“When you prioritize reliability, it comes at a cost,” Taylor said, explaining that ERCOT is doing more now to increase the amount of its reserves and is paying to ensure generators are ready to go online. if necessary. “So it costs more, but the network is more stable.”

NBU is still feeling the effects of winter storm Uri.

When the winter storm hit, NBU spent $93 million on electricity, completely depleting its $43 million in cash reserves and forcing officials to incur $50 million in debt to make up the difference.

From March 2021 to July, Taylor said NBU collected all $50 million from customers to repay that debt. The average customer’s bill included a fee of about $25 per month to make this possible.

But it will be years before winter storm Uri is entirely in the city’s rearview mirror. The NBU is now working to replenish the reserves it has run through. Since the utility spent as much as its annual budget on electricity during the week-long storm, it is trying to save the cost of 365 days of electricity, or about $120 million.

Taylor estimates that it will take until 2030 to achieve this goal. In 2023, the average customer will spend $15.60 per month to replenish these reserves, and it will cost $9 per month from 2024 to 2030.

For now though, NBU has suspended collections for reserves in August and September to relieve customers after months of high bills.

NBU CEO Ian Taylor speaks at an Electrical Community Forum presented by New Braunfels Utilities Wednesday, August 24, 2022. Breakout sessions provided customers with information on conservation, discounts, payment plans, solar energy and many other topics.

NBU CEO Ian Taylor speaks at an Electrical Community Forum presented by New Braunfels Utilities Wednesday, August 24, 2022. Breakout sessions provided customers with information on conservation, discounts, payment plans, solar energy and many other topics.

Billy Calzada, San Antonio Express-News/Staff Photographer

Taylor apologized to customers at Wednesday’s forums for not suspending the cost of paying winter storm debt sooner.

A major point of confusion and concern for NBU customers has been an Electricity Cost Recovery Adjustment, or PCRA, charged to each person’s bill. Taylor said the charge is a variable rate that reflects the cost of purchasing power.

The PCRA is made up of the costs of winter storm Uri and a portion of what it costs to pay for electricity generation. Since things like rising natural gas prices can affect the cost of energy, the ECRP can fluctuate from month to month, depending on the market.

A petition is circulating on to remove or reduce PCRA fees from NBU bills. About 3,700 people supported him on Thursday.

But Taylor said it’s impossible to do away with the PCRA altogether, and the most the utility can do to reduce it is to temporarily suspend fundraising to replenish supplies after the winter storm.

However, the term PCRA may disappear as the NBU seeks to reformat its bill to give a more detailed breakdown of all costs.

NBU has not disconnected customers for non-payment all summer and currently has no set date for when disconnections will resume. Customers who require billing assistance or would like a flexible payment plan can contact NBU for more information.

Retired Tuolumne County Administrator Hired as Acting CAO of Calaveras | New Tue, 23 Aug 2022 08:11:01 +0000

Craig Pedro, the former longtime Tuolumne County government administrator, has been hired on an interim basis to serve as Calaveras County’s top administrative official, effective Tuesday of this week.

Pedro has agreed to come out of retirement to replace Christa Von Latta, who in July announced her retirement as CAO of Calaveras effective January 1, and is now on administrative leave. According to Calaveras County staff, Pedro is expected to work as an acting CAO until Von Latta’s furlough expires.

Mike Guest is Renfrew’s new fire chief Sun, 21 Aug 2022 15:45:00 +0000 Renfrew’s new fire chief is Mike Guest, a service firefighter for 17 years

Mike Guest, who was appointed Acting Fire Chief of the Renfrew Fire Department in November 2021, is now the town’s first fire and emergency services director following a council meeting the last week.

Chief Guest moved from Acting Captain to Acting Chief in November 2021 following the resignation of former Chief Kevin Welsh. The board appointed the guest as the search for a permanent replacement for the position began. It is not uncommon for the recruitment process to take six to nine months for these types of senior municipal positions.

He brings 17 years of firefighting experience with the city to this position and as Director of Emergency Services and the Fire Department he will have a number of duties in both portfolios.

Among the tasks related to the supervision of the 10 full-time firefighters and the six new volunteer recruits, he is responsible for the preparation of the annual budget, reporting to both the general manager (CAO) and the municipal council, carrying out the statutory functions of fire chief under the direction of fire protection. and the Prevention Act, including the duties of Deputy Fire Marshal, in accordance with provincial legislation and applicable municipal regulations, policies and practices.

He is also responsible for the continuous development and improvement of all departmental services to ensure compliance with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards.

One of the major adjustments he will have to face, like any other promoted fire chief in a department where he has spent most of his career, is to go from actively participating in extinguishing an actual fire to a hands-off approach. as Incident Commander, which involves overseeing all facets of the operation and making important decisions in a highly stressful and life-threatening environment.

When his nomination was made to the council, the chief guest expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to audition for the role over the past nine months.

“This is an exciting opportunity for me and as you would expect there is a bit of anxiety in taking on a leadership role, but the support I have received from my staff and also from the Town of Renfrew since that I’ve taken on the role of acting chief,” he told the council. “It made the transition much easier and any questions I had, whether at the station or across the street, the support was there. I look forward to serving my community.

Wearing both hats, the Chief Guest will be responsible for working in collaboration with the General Manager, in the role of Community Emergency Management Coordinator (EMC). As CEMC, he will be responsible for planning and directing the city’s response to all emergencies in the City of Renfrew.

The dual role will also include contributing to community development plans, subdivision agreements, and new buildings, as well as overseeing the development, implementation, and maintenance of the emergency management plan, emergency plans, and emergency response and fire safety inspections.

Warden Peter Emon, who is chairman of the city’s human resources committee, said the elevation of the chief guest was a natural extension of council and senior management’s desire to hire from within thanks succession planning and encouraging staff to seek long-term leadership positions as a city. employee.

“Our recruiting in this case did not involve advertising outside of Renfrew for potential candidates,” he said in a phone interview while attending the AMO annual conference ( Association of Municipal Ontario) in Ottawa. “When the board appointed Mike as interim leader, we did so to assess his performance and he indicated his desire to take on this role. He has lived up to expectations and, just as important, he provides the city with stable, long-term leadership as he is more than 15 years away from the city’s policy of mandatory retirement at age 60 for all firefighters, including including the boss.

Warden Emon went on to say that the elevation of Chief Guest is the first major example of investing resources and training with existing City staff so that they are the next generation of senior staff to help guide Renfrew to the future.

“Over the past few years, the city has recruited people in all positions with the goal of eventually moving them into senior management positions not only to provide the city with qualified leadership, but also to reduce the burden of using constantly taking up valuable time and resources to pursue recruitment,” he said.

Kent Mayor Ralph promotes CAO Fitzpatrick, City Attorney White Sat, 20 Aug 2022 00:26:35 +0000

On Thursday afternoon, August 18, 2022, Kent Mayor Dana Ralph announced that Acting Chief Administrative Officer Pat Fitzpatrick and Acting City Solicitor Tammy White were promoted and officially retained.

“Pat and Tammy graciously took on these roles and took on their new responsibilities remarkably well,” Ralph said in a statement.

“They are talented, reliable and have demonstrated a strong commitment to the City and our residents. I am so excited to officially promote them to these permanent positions.

Both have held the positions since March, following the departure of former CAO Derek Matheson.

Fitzpatrick previously served as Chief Prosecutor, Civil Prosecutor, City Attorney, Acting Director of Human Resources and, most recently, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the City of Kent.

He holds a degree in public administration from San Diego State University and a Juris Doctorate from Seattle University School of Law.

White worked in both the Prosecution and Civil Divisions of the City Attorney’s Office and previously served as a paralegal, prosecutor and civil prosecutor at the City of Kent.

She received her BA in Law and Justice from Central Washington University and her JD from Seattle University School of Law.

“Pat and Tammy have already contributed so much to the city, and I look forward to continuing to work with them as we deliver the high quality of public service our residents have come to expect!” Ralph added.

Powell River City Council accepts memorial bench Wed, 17 Aug 2022 23:43:00 +0000

The tireless volunteer Dr. Andy Davis will be commemorated and recognized with an installation at Townsite.

Appearing before the Town of Powell River Committee of the Whole on August 16, Townsite Ratepayers Association President Will Van Delft said he was making a presentation in conjunction with the Townsite Heritage Society in memory of Davis.

Van Delft said that over the past few months the life and accomplishments of Davis, also known as Doctor Dirt, have been celebrated. Davis, a longtime doctor in the community, died in April this year.

Van Delft said Davis was part of the BOMB Squad (Bloody Old Mens Brigade), building many hiking trails and bridges in the area. As part of the Powell River Parks and Wilderness Society, he helped build cabins along the Sunshine Coast Trail.

Davis has also been involved in the music scene, as a member of a choir and working with PRISMA (Pacific Region International Summer Music Association).

“He has worked countless hours on his great love, which is Townsite’s triangular gardens,” Van Delft said. “He was also the founder and first president of the Townsite Ratepayers Association.

“In recognition of the many hours of volunteer work Andy has done in our community, we feel it is fitting that in making a statement of gratitude for Andy Davis’ volunteer life, we join in conjunction with the Townsite Heritage Society to build a monument for Andy.

Van Delft said the association is asking the city council to support them by making a donation and setting up an observation bench in the gardens of the triangle.

“We, together with the Townsite Heritage Society, will raise funds to plant a suitable specimen tree, as well as a large boulder and a commemorative plaque near the bench,” Van Delft said.

Committee Chair Councilor CaroleAnn Leishman said everything Davis has done is appreciated. She said Van Delft’s request is a good idea.

Mayor Dave Formosa said he contacted Davis’ wife and suggested that the triangle gardens be named after her. Formose said at the time that she thought he might not like the idea.

“Subsequently, his disease progressed and he died,” Formosa said. “I was talking to [former mayor] Stewart Alsgard because he brought up the idea of ​​the city donating a bench, and I said that was a great idea. I support this idea 100%, so we will all remember the great job Andy did in bringing these triangular gardens back to life.

Administrative manager Russell Brewer said staff could be asked to work to install a bench in the gardens.

Councilman Maggie Hathaway said she has worked with Davis in different capacities over the years.

“I’m definitely in favor of remembering him that way,” Hathaway added.

The committee gave unanimous consent to work with the ratepayers’ association to install a memorial bench in Davis’ honor.

Province proposes legislation to give mayors power to get homes built faster Tue, 16 Aug 2022 10:15:31 +0000

TORONTO — If passed, the Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act, which is new legislation introduced by the Ontario government, would give the mayors of Toronto and Ottawa the ability to advance priority projects, such as construction 1.5 million new homes over the next 10 years. .

Proposed changes include:

  • the hiring of the general manager and heads of municipal services, and the creation and reorganization of services;
  • appoint chairs/vice-chairs for identified committees and local councils and establish new identified committees;
  • submit matters related to provincial priorities for consideration by the Board;
  • veto by-laws approved by the board if they relate to matters of provincial priority; and
  • propose the municipal budget.

These measures would allow council the ability to propose amendments to the municipal budget, a statement said, adding that council could also override the mayor’s veto on any budget amendments and regulations related to provincial priorities with a majority vote. two-thirds.

The changes, if approved, are expected to come into effect on November 15, coinciding with the start of the new term of the city council.

Ontario is also launching the Housing Supply Action Plan Implementation Team, which will provide advice on market-based housing initiatives, including building on the vision of the Housing Supply Task Force. Housing Affordability, More Housing for All and other government consultations. According to a statement, the government is considering appointing Drew Dilkens, Mayor of the City of Windsor, as chair and Cheryl Fort, Mayor of the Township of Hornepayne, as vice-chair. Other team members will be selected in the coming weeks. The first meeting is scheduled for early fall.

“The reality is that more than a third of Ontario’s growth over the next decade is expected to occur in Toronto and Ottawa, and too many families are already struggling with housing and the rising cost of living. We need to support effective local decision-making to help cut red tape and speed up development times,” Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark said in a statement. “While there is no silver bullet to solving the housing crisis, the Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act is another step in the right direction to provide more tools for municipal leaders to meet their commitments. platform to voters. The province is actively deepening our cooperation on all fronts in all municipalities to build 1.5 million houses over the next 10 years.

Learning about dementia can help caregivers plan, prepare Sun, 14 Aug 2022 14:40:50 +0000

As some readers may know, my family and I spent over 8 years caring for my late father, Gordon C. Gunn. We were able to work as a team to meet her needs for over 8 years, but I can say with confidence that most of her care fell to my mother. Typically, one or two of a family’s caregivers carry the majority of the burden, and they often feel like the weight of the world is on their shoulders.

The primary caregiver will often only tell you about 10% of what is really going on while caring for your loved one, as they naturally minimize stress and burden.

It is important to check in with your family caregiver and advocate for them to find relief if needed. Caring for a loved one living with a diagnosis of dementia is a full-time commitment and requires your constant attention. I would like to focus specifically on caregivers of a loved one with dementia, while also addressing personal diversion strategies that caregivers can use.