Thursday, June 25, 2015
Inept Consultant ROBERT JAMES ORI, President of Public Resources Management Group Inc., Shows Contempt for Commercial Water Conservation, Lifeline Utility Rates
ROBERT JAMES ORI, C.P.A.
President of Public Resources Management Group, Inc.
City of St. Augustine residential water rates are subsidizing large commercial users. This is unconstitutional.
There has never been a water rate study. This is evidence of intent to discriminate against residential users, as the City was long run by business people who are large water consumers.
The Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses are being violated.
Residents have been waiting for some 20 months for some good news.
While the Bible says, "Joy cometh in the morning," it did not come this morning -- an unqualified no-bid consultant is proposing that the City not solve the problem, not adopt lifeline rates, not comply with Open Records, not present alternatives, and do things his way. We'll just see about that, ROBERT JAMES ORI.
Mayor Nancy Shaver and Commissioners peppered him with questions and sent the vacuous varmint back to the drawing board.
Watch the tape of the pompous, arrogant, sonorous presentation of bond consultant Robert Ori of Public Resources Management Group, Inc. to City Commission this morning, continued from June 8, 2015, when he also talked a starving dog off a meat wagon. www.cosatv.com
The City's first-ever water rate study is contaminated by:
1. No competitive bidding -- a task added to an existing contract with bond consultant Robert Ori of Public Resources Management Group, Inc.;
2. No discussion of the Fourteenth Amendment equal protection clause;
3. Dismissive treatment of lifeline utility rates for low-income and elder residents;
4. Dismissive treatment of the need to raise rates and encourage conservation on currently-subsidized commercial users like FLAGLER COLLEGE and FLAGLER HOSPITAL, current accounting clients of Commissioner TODD NEVILLE, whose partner JASON BREIDENSTEIN is the spouse of MEREDITH BREIDENSTEIN, the only C.P.A. working for our City of St. Augustine (and other commercial users, including hotels, motels, restaurants and bars, whose rates need to reflect the value of the water to their business and encourage conservation).
5. Lack of an economist or environmental expert;
6. Lack of alternatives for Commissioners to consider;
7. Lack of data for Comissioners to consider;
8. A hierarchical, authoritarian approach -- Boulwareism -- from Robert Ori of Public Resources Management Group Inc.;
9. Scheduling the key discussion on rate increases or decreases at an inconvenient time (8 AM this morning);
10. Deletion/destruction of alternative approaches, with rude consultant Robert Ori of Public Resources Management Group Inc. saying "I didn't keep those because I wasn't going to offer them to you.
After my public comments:
A. Bond consultant ROBERT ORI of Public Resources Management Group Inc. said he didn't have to comply with F.S. 119 because those were "work papers." (He is a C.P.A.) I told him he was mistaken. He said to "sue me." Public Works Director Martha Graham, ever-snooty and ever-hostile to public participation, warned Robert Ori of Public Resources Management Group Inc., "Don't engage him." SAPD Commander Barry Fox swooped to the rescue to chill, coerce and restrain protected activity;
B. City Manager John Regan ordered Robert Ori of Public Resources Management Group Inc. to include several lifeline rates plans in his next iteration, along with answers to the many other questions asked but not answered by the ineffectual, no-bid contractor.
C. I filed my Open Records requests numbered 2015-194 through 2015-218 with ORI and PRMG and the City, seeking to establish how little research he did before proposing an inept redesign -- this is not a water rate study, but a ukase!
D. I began to learn just how little work ORI did -- not talking to any affected customers (at least not poor ones).
E. I started to research ORI's overpriced and shoddy work, criticized in places where he was refused extra money for more work (including the City Council of the City of Marco Island, Florida, on November 10, 2014.
F. I began to wonder how grifters come to engraft themselves upon Florida cities, and am wondering what must go on at Florida League of Cities Conventions (memo to self: need to get an undercover operation going with the FBI or PBS Frontline). :)