Does Johnson Utilities need a lot of improvement? Yes, beyond any doubt. Is an “Interim” Manager needed? Could well be the determination, but EXTREME CAUTION is vital as an ACC determination of a need for imposed outside management will have consequences. Such a determination would demonstrate the ACCs conviction that Johnson Utilities is too influential, too entrenched, too well connected, and too incompetent and or corrupt for ACC regulation to do what they exist to do, insure that all utility monopolies provide all customers within the monopoly’s prescribed boundaries with equal access to adequate utilities at an extensively vetted and justified fair rate.
An ACC determination of a need for imposed outside management of Johnson Utilities would illuminate a systemic vulnerability, one in need of a careful well vetted solution, certainly not merely an interim player change that might be just another game plan for exploiting a systemic vulnerability. Proving the accusations against Johnson Utilities, is a long way from proving they own the patent on gaming the system.
If the ACC decides a stopgap measure is necessary to expedite critically needed improvements while a permanent solution is sought, who fills the gap becomes of significant concern. Misuse of power to stifle competition is a primary reason for only rarely allowing monopolies to exist at all, and then only under extensive scrutiny and regulation.
Queen Creek routinely commingles municipal aspiration with providing utilities. They’ve even adopted an ordinance to codify this practice of commingling.
But then the town of Gilbert tried and failed to compel annexation to get fire service, losing a law suit with Chandler Heights residents.
Then again there used to be a part of the Queen Creek Town Ordinance prohibiting the locating of an auto dealership adjacent to any residential development, but that prohibition was abolished about the time Amerco’s pre-annexation agreement was being negotiated, so who knows the elastic limit of legal acumen when the Dagget & Crains are unleashed.
But, I do know this, Queen Creek’s interests are not those of the San Tan Foothills and San Tan Valley, and the idea of letting Queen Creek operate as interim manger of Johnson Utilities makes about as much sense as Uhaul letting me to do their marketing.
The least discussed but most important factor in all this is the cost of the extensive, expensive and much needed improvements. More to point, who is actually going to pay for the Johnson Utility improvements, who will get paid, what are the odds against “unexpected” additional problems/cost; and what could be the hidden costs of Queen Creek exploitation of the situation?BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS