Monday, November 7, 2011

CFPUA Board Members Return Political Favors

Sparks gets political endorsements from fellow CFPUA board members Quinn and Kusek

Cape Fear Public Utility Authority Board members are handing out political endorsements to help one of their own. The CFPUA’s Chairman and its Secretary stepped into the political arena to help Ron Sparks, Wilmington city councilman and a fellow CFPUA board member, get re-elected. As a city councilman, Sparks played an integral part in both of their appointments to the CFPUA board.

Sparks began running television commercials as a part of his re-election bid for Wilmington City Council. The commercial features three personal endorsements. While most of the general public wouldn’t realize it, and it’s not disclosed in the commercial, two of the three endorsements are from fellow CFPUA Board Members Chairman Jim Quinn and Secretary Pat Kusek, both of whom Sparks helped get appointed to the CFPUA.

According to the CPFUA website Quinn was appointed by the city and Kusek was a joint appointee of the city and county.

The three were instrumental this past year in keeping in place the controversial tiered rate billing structure implemented by the CFPUA. The rate structure is designed to punish families with higher prices, even while conserving water.

According to standards established by national organizations such as American Water Works Association, the CFPUAs’ tired rate structure is inherently punitive and unfair. The CFPUA does not target commercial customers with tiered rates.

Questions have been raised before as to whether political appointees should be endorsing those that put them in the positions they hold. While it’s not a violation of election law, it certainly muddies the water….not something the struggling organization needs at this time.

References Links:
Sparks Political Commercial
CFPUA Board Member Page

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