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

(Naples News)

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.

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). :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just FYI. Cathy Brown posted today on FB:

The murder of a pastor and eight parishioners in their historic Charleston church this past Wednesday was swiftly answered by law enforcement the next day, when police arrested 21-year-old Dylann Roof.

Roof has expressed ideological kinship with the Council of Conservative Citizens, one of numerous hate groups whose poison is available with a few clicks on the Internet.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, there are 50 hate groups in Florida, making it the second-largest hate-group host-state in the U.S.

On Florida’s watch list are 27 white-racist groups, only two of them KKK. Eleven of the state’s 50 hate groups are black separatist groups, three are anti-LGBT, and the bulk of the rest are “general hate” groups, organizations that the SPLC finds hard to categorize.

Don’t, however, think Florida stands out because it’s situated in the South. While we think of the South as a sort of mythical haven for racists, the truth is that larger numbers of hate groups correspond more to population density than to any particular region of the country. California has the most with 57. New York, home to 44 hate groups, is third. Fourth place goes to another Northern state, Pennsylvania, where the SPLC tallies 38. Texas has only 36.

The white-racist groups run the gamut: white supremacists, neo-Nazis, neo-Confederates, and racist skinheads, all of which are monitored by the SPLC and described on the organization’s webpages. Right Wing Watch and the Anti-Defamation League also run intelligence operations on hate groups.

A recent New York Times op-ed asserted that hate organizations, including anti-government militias, constitute a much more dangerous domestic threat than Al Qaeda-inspired terrorists. As reported in a recent Context Florida column, the authors compared two separate data sets that point to a five-fold difference: Domestic massacres like Charleston occurred about five-times more often than al-Qaida-brand terrorism during similar time periods.

Locally, the Confederate Hammerskins, a group that boasts about being “camouflaged in society and rooted deep into the system,” is one of four hate groups in Jacksonville. But it’s part of a national network called Hammerskins Nation, recognized as one of the most dangerous of all the white supremacy sects. The SPLC explains that the skinheads of the 1980s and ‘90s — then young, disorganized brawlers — have grown up and dedicated their lives to structuring a more effective, more efficient, and more hateful hate group.

Julie Delegal, a University of Florida alumna, is a contributor for Folio Weekly, Jacksonville’s alternative weekly, and writes for the family business, Delegal Law Offices. She lives in Jacksonville. Column courtesy of Context Florida. A version of this article appeared on Flog, Folio Weekly’s online edition, and will appear in Folio Weekly on July 1.