Thursday, September 29, 2011

Regime Change at the Authority

Former City Councilman Jim Quinn was appointed as Chairman of the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority Board replacing long time Chair Gene Renzaglia. Renzaglia has ruled as chair since the CFPUA’s inception in 2008. The appointment will likely result in little positive change for CFPUA customers as the two were in lock step on most issues.

Like Renzaglia, Quinn supported the CFPUA’s change to a controversial tiered rate structure. The CFPUA’s tiered rate, classified as discriminatory according to national standards, targets only families with higher pricing as more water is used. Under the CFPUA’s rate policy businesses and those with irrigation meters are given a pass and not penalized with the higher tiered rates.

Quinn has been involved with the authority since it’s inception. After it’s creation, he filled one of the two City Council seats until November of 2009 when he lost a re-election bid for City Council coming in a distant 7th place. Many credit Quinn’s loss to his participation in the creation of the controversial government organization.

While the voters did not see fit to return Quinn to city council, he was able to regain his position on the CFPUA board by lobbying for an appointment for one of the at large seats, replacing Charles Wells. Wells was CFPUA treasurer but quietly resigned due to his involvement in the ongoing ABC board scandal.

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