Mayor Ignores BWL Recommendations - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Mayor Ignores BWL Recommendations

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Earlier this week, Lansing Board of Water and Light's general manager pledged to follow the recommendations of both a Community Review Team and the state of Michigan to help make the utility run better.

It does not appear that Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero is taking the same advice.

Bernero said he plans to re-appoint two members of the BWL Board of Commissioners to their posts, although neither of them seem to have the kind of qualifications the Michigan Public Service Commission says they should.

The MPSC, which did a review of two reports following a December ice storm that crippled much of the city, said just two weeks ago that board members should "bring professional experience and background in the broad array of topics related to utility management-system performance and reliability, generation and transmission issues, financial markets, skilled personnel, customer billing and communication, and future upgrades and grid investments."

It went on to say that Bernero, who has the power to pick board members, "should appoint new member(s) with expertise related to the duties of the BWL."

The Lansing mayor had the opportunity to do so, as two members of the board are about to have their terms expire.

Instead, Bernero is re-appointing David Price and Margaret Bossenbery to their posts. The Lansing City Council is set to vote on those appointments on Monday.

“We don’t have a lot of utility experts living in the city of Lansing. That’s a fact, and it’s not a requirement for service,” said Bernero. “If I had vast numbers of utility experts, I would be happy to consider them.”

According their biographies on the BWL website, both board members are active in the community. But neither seem to have the experience detailed by the MPSC.

Price, who joined the BWL board in 2011, runs an organization that helps train people with disabilities to help them get jobs. It's a field he has worked in since 1983. The bio also states that he has served on statewide boards including the Michigan Nonprofit Association Board of Directors and the Michigan Rehabilitation Association Board of Directors. He has also served as secretary/treasurer of the Glen Erin Pipe Band and is a host family coordinator for an MSU study abroad program.

Bossenbery, who joined the BWL board in 2009, is the Executive Coordinator for the State Bar of Michigan. She spent 20 years before that working for the courts and Michigan Department of corrections. She sits on the board of the Capital Area District Library and helps raise money for a group dedicated to fighting domestic violence. She also used to serve on the board of the Girl Scouts of Michigan Capital Council.

If approved, their terms would run through June 30, 2018.
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