Arlene Violet Puts BCWA on Santa's Naughty List

Barrington resident and lawyer Arlene Violet sounds off on who has made Santa's naughty and nice lists this year.

East Bay Newspapers column writer and Rhode Island lawyer Arlene Violet took it upon herself to name several local residents, groups and even towns to Santa's naughty and nice lists this holiday season, including the . 

Though the BCWA was listed toward the bottom of her short naughty list, Violet had much to say about the authority's poor performance over the last year.

Violet writes, "can’t Mr. Jannitto and the rest of the board members act like grown-ups, step out of the sandbox and get down to business?"

The BCWA has been under much scrutiny over the past year, leading to the as well as the in August of this year.

On the bright side, Violet named some locals to Santa's nice list. Following her notes on the downard spiral of the BCWA, Violet named Bristol resident , along with other BCWA watchdogs including Jeff and Janice Black and Gary Morse to Santa's "nice" list. Peterson, who actively organizes the East Bay Patriots, has kept the water authority under a watchful eye and written dozens of letters to the editor questioning BCWA practices over the last year.

Also named on her naughty and nice lists were the East Providence City Council, the entire town of Barrington, and David Cicilline.

Bristol County Anonymous December 27, 2011 at 03:42 PM
These questions should be asked before Mr. DeLise walks out the door.
Manifold Witness December 27, 2011 at 03:44 PM
Beginning balances by Bostian (Actuarial Report) http://www.bcwari.com/bcwa/images/community/Actuarial_Valuation_Report.pdf & Washington Trust Investors (Portfolio Valuation) http://www.bcwari.com/bcwa/images/pdfs/investment.pdf seem to reconcile (except for Bostian’s accrued interest & dividends): $6,145,945 (Bostian includes $22,097 of “Interest & Dividend Receivable), Washington Trust shows $6,123,848. http://www.bcwari.com/bcwa/images/pdfs/investment.pdf How & when did Bostian find out about the “Distribution Error” of $500,000? Is the “distribution error” sitting in Bostian’s disbursements of $1,276,817?
Manifold Witness December 27, 2011 at 03:46 PM
Washington Trust report also shows $55,094 Dividends & Interest added to a loss of ($244,045) for a total of ($299,139). They DEDUCT this from the balance to show an ending balance of $5,140,425. Why deduct interest & dividends? http://www.bcwari.com/bcwa/images/pdfs/investment.pdf
Manifold Witness December 27, 2011 at 03:48 PM
BCWA Pension Plan Actuarial Valuation Report at July 1, 2011 (“Actuarial Report”) shows employee benefit payments actually paid out of $1,276,817 for the year July 1, 2010 – June 30, 2011. No detail. http://www.bcwari.com/bcwa/images/community/Actuarial_Valuation_Report.pdf Washington Trust Investors Pension Portfolio Valuation at December 11, 2011 shows benefit payments actually paid out of $1,304,492 for the 5 ½ month period July 1, 2011 – December 11, 2011. No detail. http://www.bcwari.com/bcwa/images/pdfs/investment.pdf
Bristol County Anonymous December 27, 2011 at 04:02 PM
How much is Mr. Delise's "lump sum"? Who is going to calculate it? The same person who made the $500K mistake?
Gary Morse December 27, 2011 at 04:50 PM
I am hearing that the vetting of the resumes for the new Exec Director position was another botched DIY BCWA Board blunder created by none other than Chairman Jannitto. I wonder if those three Warren council members endorse Mr Jannitto's work at this point along with his blaming the union for all of BCWA's problems. This has never been about the union. The union did what it was supposed to do, bargain hard for the best compensation package they could bargain for. The council members reappointed Jannitto after knowing he regularly commits "stupid beyond belief" blunders. If a local crony is now put in as the Exec Director based on an inflated resume not vetted the way any normal company would do this, we have the Barrington and Warren Town Council's to explain themselves.
Jack Baillargeron December 27, 2011 at 06:20 PM
My a New Years resolution by Jannitto to resign will be forth coming along with Mack canceling doing her so called "Save the BCWA no matter how much money she makes" will also quit. The sham continues, the lack of oversight continues, the wild spending spree's continue, the waste of time on the treatment plant continues, the lack of transparency continues, the lack of paying principle on bonds continues, the lack of leadership continues, the lack of funding from any outside source to take a chance continues, the lack of pension reform continues. Lets face it nothing seems to have changed at all other than more excuses, more secrecy and the addition of intimdation of citizens exercising their constitutional rights in as Unamerican way as I have ever seen. What's next detain those citizens indefinetly under the new national law, to stop redress protected under our Constitution. I guess they could lock them up in the treatment plant, since it is not used for water treatment and still staffed so they would not at least have to spend more money needlessly. What a bad name the BCWA is giving this state, of which it needs no more help in that by the way. This is not about their image, it is about, it is a Dictatorial BCWA against the ratepayers and the taxpayers of this County and State. As the Founders Stated tyranny will not stand.
marina peterson December 27, 2011 at 07:23 PM
What I don't understand is ... why is Delise still there? What are they waiting for? Is he to personally choose his successor to be sure that there are no wrinkles? I heard he may be there until the end of January...
Gary Morse December 27, 2011 at 08:00 PM
Marina - My guess is that the BCWA Board knows that residents know that the Exec search has been corrupted. That point score system was based on improperly vetted resumes and thus the assigned point score itself is corrupted. In the final list are several good managers who will not be intimidated, and several who would be intimidated. Residents want a strong leader, not a follower. Now the Board is stuck with making a choice for the next crony puppet they really want, or a good leader they don't want. This board is used to having it's own way.
Manifold Witness December 27, 2011 at 08:12 PM
Maybe Delise's trying to give the new "CFO" (functionally speaking) all the necessary information to ...uh...you know... "tick & tie" all the numbers that answer all the questions that have been raised (but not answered) over the past two years? Yeah...that's the ticket! Can you imagine being the new CFO over at the BCWA? Uh...uh....Mr. DeLIse, what about that $500,000 pension distribution error that happened JUST BEFORE the LAST "CFO" (functionally speaking) retired? What's up with that, Mr. DeLise? How does it tie into the actuarial reports, Mr. DeLise? Uh...uh...Mr. DeLise, where are the reports that reconcile the state funds we got over all those years for the pipeline & the Pretend Treatment Plant & the Shad and uh... what about those "school" renovations ($1,000,000 or so) from the Shad Fund? And, uh....Mr. DeLise ..uh...what about land deals....uh....and related parties and straw..uh....uh...? How do I project chemical expenses...uh... you know ...for a Pretend Treatment Plant? Is that more of an art than a science? What's up with the sludge?? What about the Roger Williams water tower AND those legal fees WE paid? Why do we pay so much for legal services?? $375 an hour (down from $475)?! That's not what the other CFO's pay. As to stimulus money....we didn't get any because it was too much red tape? We gotta take that B&E report seriously, right? Right? Would the board would mind if I got the East Bay Four in here to help out?
DownTown December 27, 2011 at 08:39 PM
Just shut it down.
Bristol County Anonymous December 27, 2011 at 08:48 PM
The rest of the Board must be embarrased by Jannitto's bungled illegal executive sessions, where they improperly chose and discussed the "final 5" in those 2 private meetings. Especially after it was revealed that Jannitto apparently tricked Mr. DeMelo into not coming to the meeting... The decisions made in the illegal meetings are "null & void". Now what will Jannitto and Klepper do? Obviously, they want a crony puppet; otherwise why all the tricks and secrecy?
Manifold Witness December 28, 2011 at 03:50 PM
"We took the wells off line for the hell of it!", BCWA Board Vice-Chairman Allan Klepper explaining to BCWA ratepayers & the Barrington Town Council why the BCWA "decommissioned" the Nayatt Wells (Nayatt Road, Barrington, RI) even though “the Act” says the wells are to be maintained. (As quoted on the front page of the "Barrington Times", December 28, 2011.) Well, well, well.
marina peterson December 28, 2011 at 04:15 PM
Ed Achorn's editorial on The Public is Not the Enemy is now on Tea Party Nation... a nationwide site ... and is receiving comments from all over the country. You can view it at http://www.teapartynation.com/profiles/blogs/editorial-by-ed-achorn-providence-journal-ri-public-is-not-the?commentId=3355873%3AComment%3A1735065&xg_source=msg_com_blogpost Again.... vigilance is required as "they" choose the new Executive Director. There are many questions to be asked. I am still concerned on the method that was used to "whittle" the 17 down to 5 if none of the resumes were vetted.
Bristol County Anonymous December 28, 2011 at 04:45 PM
The selection process has been badly compromised, and there is cause for concern. Janitto & Klepper "whittled the 17 down to 5", and then discussed the "final 5" at illegally closed private meetings, with deficient meeting Notices, and Mr. DeMelo was apparently tricked into not attending. The tricks and improper avoidance of transparency shows they want a puppet crony. Where are the Tri-Town Councilors?
John Tattrie December 29, 2011 at 02:15 PM
2012 Fresh Start.....:)
Manifold Witness December 29, 2011 at 03:22 PM
A fresh start would be wonderful. The fresh, new "CFO" (functionally speaking) can - right now - ask all the questions that need fresh, honest answers. Mr. DeLise could give fresh, honest answers before he walks out the door. A shiny, fresh new lawyer could be hired to take a fresh look. A fresh, new, open CEO could be hired. The Tri-Town Councilors could make a fresh start and look at BCWA anew.... like they've never seen it before. Like they have no cronies. Like they have no ties to the past. A fresh new BCWA board with fresh new directors could be appointed as the old terms expire in February 2012. And all the Tri-town councilors & all the BCWA Board members could make a nice, fresh effort to be nice to the public. Even when the public asks the hard questions that deserve fresh honest answers. A fresh start. That would be nice.
Gary Morse December 29, 2011 at 03:56 PM
John, I wish I shared your perspective for the future. The choice of a new Exec Director has already been corrupted by Chairman Jannitto. The BCWA review meeting on Dec 10 was illegal (the board admitted it had not contacted the applicants allowing the board to go into exec session, a requirement under the law). Chairman Jannitto called board member Joe DeMelo lying that the meeting on the 10th was only a sub committee meeting in an effort to get Joe not to go. The vetting of the resumes was not done to any normal standards and thus the resumes themselves are as reliable as a Match.com introduction. And the so called point score system appears to be falling into an incomplete state in spite of the fact that there is has already been a whittling down of candidates from 17 to 5. This has the appearance of cronyism by the Chairman doing all he can to push everything behind closed doors and keep insiders at the feeding trough. Until the Warren Town Council recognizes that they made a huge blunder in keeping Mr. Jannitto on as a board member, there will be no change to the BCWA business model of poor water quality (mostly in Warren) at high cost in order to feed a bunch of insiders.
John Tattrie December 29, 2011 at 09:02 PM
Mr. Delise wasn't in any hurry to get to work today, as I witnessed him heading into Warren around his usual late morning entrance into Town. It will not hurt my feelings to see his shiny dodge company truck parked at BCWA knowing that someone more responsible will be sitting behind the wheel in a few weeks. But I really do feel bad for the next guy in, He or She is gonna have their hands full straightening out the mess left behind by this man. I know what my first move would be! Hire a less expensive lawyer that gives better advice. That would be a really good move in the rite direction for a start. Happy New Year!
Manifold Witness December 29, 2011 at 09:50 PM
The Failure -BCWA Board Chairman Jannitto has failed to hold DeLise responsible. Even so, Jannitto was reappointed a 3 to 2 vote of the Warren Town Council. Tattrie, Stanley & Frerichs in favor. The Chairman of the Board is where the buck must stop. Period. Contrary to what Jannitto would have us believe his role is, the Chairman of the Board has serious duties. Disturbingly, Jannitto says his role is to keep people happy. (See Jannitto's extended 12/11 interview at Hummel Report & on YouTube.) And Mr. Klepper has turned out to be a big, big disappointment, to say the least. He yells too much. And swears. Obviously, anyone who has to respond that way is a problem and should not be on the board of the BCWA. It is time for fresh leadership. And term limits. Despite the following from Mrs. Tattrie: "Warren Town Councilor Catherine Tattrie also opposed term limits, but for a different reason. “We’re a small town,” she said. “We don’t have as many people to serve. This could be an issue in filling posts with the highest quality people." http://barrington.patch.com/articles/limit-water-authority-board-terms Mr. Jannitto expressed his thoughts about people who are not “born & bred” in Warren. (See extended interview at Hummel Report). Nonetheless, we think there are plenty of mighty good people in Warren - regardless of where they were "born & bred" - who could get the job done if given a chance. (BTW,Gary the meeting was 12/20/11)
John Tattrie December 29, 2011 at 10:25 PM
I dont think the troubles of the BCWA started when Jannitto became Chairman, If you look at the time line of problems they seemed to begin way before he was Chairman. But that doesn't excuse him from some of the issues. Im not going to keep looking backwards, Im going to look forward to the new person being hired. (Whom ever that may be) and a strong willed individual will do whats rite, regardless of what the Board tries to impress upon them. As far as the term limits issue, I have mixed emotions. I think it's dependant on what the position is (What Board). I sat on planning for 4 years and it was difficult at times, but I feel things were accomplished. I dont think people should be on for 15 or 20 years. I think we should have provisions in place to make changes when trouble arises. The trouble with Term limits are...how do you gauge them. A new person sitting on a Board is going to spend their first year just navigating their way through things, your second year you start to get your feet wet, your third year you realize you can make a difference, then in your fourth year you find where you fit in with the other members. By the time year five comes along you have probably already pissed off someone and need to decide whats more important, to stand by your goals or take an ass whippen for upsetting someone. It is a difficult goal to set for any Board. But anyway, I hope the next person can fix whats wrong with BCWA. Happy New Year.!
Bristol County Anonymous December 30, 2011 at 12:01 AM
Respectfully, "looking backwards" is necessary to understand what failed at BCWA, so that all the necessary remedial measures can be implemented. Only after fixing the problems that caused the BCWA failure can you realistically "look forward" with hopes for a fresh start. Jannitto is a complete failure as Chairman. As Chairman, he is responsible for the mismanagement that has caused the demise of BCWA into a big mess. He was oblivious to the problems until they were exposed by the public. And then, instead of acting like a leader and addressing the problems pointed out by the public, Jannitto engaged in a petty campaign seeking retribution (threatening pretend lawsuits, probing letters, etc.). And now, most recently we understand that he has corrupted the Exec Director interview process by tricking Mr. DeMelo into not attending meetings, and illegally conducting the meetings as closed meetings without proper Notice, etc. Jannitto's mismanagement of BCWA and reprehensible conduct towards the public is indefensible. Respectfully, he needs to resign, or be removed so that there can be a "fresh start".
Manifold Witness December 30, 2011 at 12:20 AM
We are not fooled by any illogical argument that BCWA may be about to hire a new CEO who will be so "strong willed" that he will be able to manage and "fix what's wrong with BCWA" IN SPITE OF the dysfunctional elements of the BCWA board. Chairman or not, Jannitto's been on the board a long, long time. He has now fully revealed himself (thanks to Hummel). Jannitto has not shown the necessary leadership skills. He has not fixed the problems. He has not shown the necessary intellectual curiosity that is required to get BCWA onto the right path. Why? Jannitto is the "poster boy" for the argument in favor of term limits. BCWA is not too much more than a deteriorating distribution system for Providence Water, decorated with an overly expensive hunk of administrative & legal expenses and benefits. Who authorized the $500,000 May 2011 erroneous distribution? What are the facts of that? Is the new "CFO" (functionally speaking) getting a full explanation? The union must want to know how $500,000 could have erroneously come out of the pension fund? Could it happen again? Also, is the $500,000 distribution error still sitting in the actuary's $1,200,000 of distributions prior to June 30, 2011? What's the $1,300,000 of distributions for July 1- Dec 11, 2011? Can someone get some answers, please? Thanks.
John Tattrie December 30, 2011 at 02:09 AM
I hope you are just kidding if you think the hiring of a new CEO is an illogical form of a argument. If so it's purpose completely undermine's your whole objective to correct the problems at hand. While I am impressed at the numbers and information brought fourth by all, I would truely believe that anyone applying for the position is aware of the problems at hand. My point is you have to stop expecting anything from the Board and look towards what a fresh CEO would be willing to correct. I dont believe anyone is going to take this job and work under the present conditions created by the Board. He or She is going to want to call the shots, and correct the issues. As far as the Board goes, these guys are on a suicide mission. I can't imagine many of them are going to stick it out much longer. I was willing to wait till the new year to see if they came up with any answers, but it's not looking that way. Unless they come forward with a gesture & forward some answers, it would be safe to say that know one in their rite mind is going to continue to support them. Hiring a new Director and Dumping the present lawyer would be a good start towards reform.
Jimmy Hight December 30, 2011 at 02:32 PM
You find when they hide the truth from the people they will revolt eventually. Too many are spending other peoples money like it was unlimited and that is taking us all down. Accountability is the only thing that can save us as we move forward to find some sanity in the waste of so many. Crimes are taking place and they must be held accountable for those crimes. Unfortunately there are so many liberal socialist judges we are having a hard time getting the justice we seek. Make your vote count and be very aware of the activities of your local government. We need to take our communities back and control our own destinies from this day forward. God Bless and Happy New Year.
marina peterson December 30, 2011 at 02:44 PM
John, If you are impressed with the numbers and information brought forth so far... you will fall over when/if you see "the rest of the story". The documentation that many of us have is mind-boggling. You just wonder how this sort of thing could go on for so long!! If these directors choose a crony Executive Director, then nothing will change. That is the issue. Again.... WHO is vetting the candidates???? As to the directors themselves, the buck stops with the three town councils whose members have reappointed the same old guys over and over again, supposedly hoping for change. The public can see now that change was not the goal here.... keeping the status quo was. It will be an interesting election year this year.....
Dennis Donner December 30, 2011 at 04:42 PM
Sandy Taylor Brown December 30, 2011 at 10:01 PM
Marina, stay with your hard work. We had a situation with one of our local water and sewer companies a few years ago. We had a tremondous outpouring of residents who came out in the hundreds to fight a proposed sewer rate increase that was in the neighborhood of 80%. Thankfully, with all of our hard work in fighting this and the fairness of our Arizona Utility Commission we were successful. It takes many voices, dedicated people and a lot of hard work, but it can you can succeed. Good luck. Sandy
John Smith January 05, 2012 at 12:04 AM
I deal with BOD's all the time, even train members on ethics of BOD's. It's evident this BOD is not working in the best interest of the public trust. Being above board and transparent is the epitome of what a BOD is obligated to serve. The people in this jurisdiction have the lawful right to request a fair accounting. I would submit the question: who is paying who?
marina peterson January 10, 2012 at 04:24 PM
I am including a link to the recent State of the State program that discussed the Bristol County Water Authority. It was outstanding and gives the audience a better idea of how much time and effort has gone into this investigation (done by 4 private citizens) http://ocgri.org/staley1211.html We are now at a crossroads. We hesitate to take legal action on the most recent infractions of the Open Meetings law because it will only add to the coffers of Sandra Mack, at rate-payer expense. We certainly would not take any legal action ourselves for the same reason. It is imperative that the new director be someone who is not chosen because he/she will play their game. We need someone who will call for a full project audit and a complete internal audit. Business cannot go on "as usual" with the only change being a new face at the helm. Some of the candidates have impressive resumes, but who has vetted them? If a candidate says the worked at XYZ, but neglects to put down that he/she was fired from that position... who checks on that? We have asked this question many times, but there is never an answer.


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