Here are four things you should know about the BCWA:
- There is a very small group of individuals, headed up by the likes of publicity seeking Jeff and Janice Black, Gary Morse, and Marina Peterson that are obsessed with bringing down the BCWA. They claim to have the public interest in mind, but do not let them mislead you. They comment on meetings they do not attend. They spread falsehoods online and in newspapers, without accountability. They allege without basis, mismanagement of funds, yet an expensive independent accounting report concludes that no mismanagement of funds and no mismanagement of assets were found. Their participation has not only misled the public, but cost you, the ratepayers, significant dollars to hire additional engineers, spend unbudgeted legal funds to dispel unfound legal arguments, and engage pension experts to defend well made choices by this board.
- The most important task before the BCWA is to determine a redundant source of water in the event that the pipeline underneath the Narragansett Bay fails. Despite recent turmoil, the Board has directed the preparation of a strategic plan, a matrix of options to pursue a redundant source including benefits and drawbacks of each option. This requires the cooperation of our state legislators and all three towns. We need to defend our right to a redundant source. We need to develop a redundant source and we collectively need to hold the state to their promise to pay for it.
- The recent hoopla regarding BCWA defense of over one year of complaints by the Blacks to the Attorney General’s office involves fourteen written complaints alleging over 42 violations. Early on in the process, the Authority self corrected. But that did not stop the Blacks from bringing in video cameras to every meeting, tape recording conversations, and intimidating our staff “demanding” that Black claims be met. Please read the AG opinion that is posted on the Authority website. The AG found, again and again in its decision that the Blacks’ numerous and repeated claims were unfounded. Yes, there were a few violations acknowledged and corrected. By the time the decision was rendered, the Blacks have received over 4000 pages of documents. Really, what is their agenda? There was no fine assessed against BCWA. In the words of the AG, “We conclude that the evidence does not establish a willful or knowing violation”.
- We respect the right of individuals to participate, and invite responsible citizens to meetings to judge for themselves the performance of the board. There are important decisions that need to be made by the Authority, and we welcome you to be part of the solution. Hard work does not always grab headlines, nor does the continuous supply of adequate and safe drinking water. That is our mission, however, and we pledge to the ratepayers to do it well.
John M. Jannitto, Chairman of the