Date: June 5, 2012
Dear Members of City Council:
Council in the CSU Board Meetings has discussed a possible future change in the governance of CSU. Council has indicated that you intend to begin a Board review at the next CSU Board Meeting this month to consider possible options for the future governance of CSU. As Mayor, I hope that any review of CSU governance be done in two separate stages.
First, Council acting as the Board of CSU, please consider what changes, if any, make sense for CSU and might be in the best interests of CSU as a utility. Second, Council will need to remove your Board “hats” and conduct a second and separate review of CSU governance acting as the City Council and considering what is truly in the best interests of our entire community as a whole, not just what is in the best interest of CSU. The second stage, by Council acting as Council, should consider all possible options – including consideration of leasing or selling the electric and gas power generation units of CSU, as well as creating a new Board of CSU with Mayor and Council appointment and removal authority. The Council review should include a full opportunity for careful and vigorous public participation.
When the review of CSU governance comes to Council acting as Council, a Community Task Force should be appointed to independently review all recommendations and options, including lease or sale of power generation units as well as new models of governance. This is the approach used for the Memorial Task Force that successfully considered and recommended the proposed Lease of Memorial to UCH. The open-minded consideration of all options for our enterprises, and the use of a Task Force, has served our community well. A review of CSU governance, and the future of CSU as an enterprise, obviously raises very complex issues that are of great importance to the community.
The CSU Board will begin that long and careful process this month, but I recommend that Council’s review of CSU governance, and the possible appointment of a CSU Task Force, not begin until after the community has completed the efforts with regard to Memorial and the potential transition to UCH is complete. It is unlikely that any objective or thoughtful review could study these issues, involve public participation, develop recommendations, and then be ready to bring them forward to the community until early 2013. Again, I pledge that the City Executive Branch will provide our support for the CSU Board and the Council’s review of the future of CSU in any way appropriate.
cc: Council Administrator Aimee Cox and Mayor Bach’s Executive Team (Fire Chief Rich Brown, Police Chief Pete Carey, Chief Economic Vitality & Innovation Steve Cox, City Attorney Chris Melcher, Chief of Staff and Chief Administrative Officer Laura Neumann)