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Water Authority Board Director Resigns Due to 'Unhealthy Climate'

The former board member said that he feels he can't commit to the time requirements demanded by the Tri Councils as well as the general public.

A member of the Board of Directors recently resigned from his position due to what he called an "unhealthy climate."

Bristol resident David Dugan submitted a letter to the town of Bristol on Tuesday, Aug. 16, announcing his immediate resignation from the BCWA Board of Directors. The letter explains a number of reasons for Dugan's decision.

In it, he states, "I have also taken into consideration what I perceive to be an unhealthy climate making it difficult to perform the duties asked of us as Directors."

In a phone interview, Dugan said that though it was not the only reason that he decided to resign, the unhealthy environment with local activism groups did play a part.

"We're at a meeting and people stand up before the Council and say, 'these people are incompetent and if the Council knew how to do their job they would fire them all,'" Dugan said. "I'm a volunteer, so why sould I sit there and listen to them call us all incompetent?"

Another deciding factor for Dugan is the time demands involved in the numerous meetings with the water authority, the public and three towns. 

"The demands being made not only by one council but by three councils are a lot and the effort that will be required to answer all of the questions will be tremendous," he stated. "It is just going to be too many hours as far as Im concerned, it will be like a full time job."

But Dugan shows no signs of hostility toward the board, councils or activists digging for more information and said that he has enjoyed his two years on the board.

In his letter he writes, "please recognize the appreciation I have for the confidence exhibited in me by the Council in my appointment... I wish all parties much success going forward."

neil buck August 23, 2011 at 08:00 PM
They need to get rid of that arrogant punk, Pasquale Delise. He has been there way too long.
marina peterson August 23, 2011 at 10:09 PM
Mr. Dugan is correct is stating that it will take a lot of effort to answer all of the questions being posed to the BCWA. I can understand why it would seem overwhelming. But honest answers are required if we are to understand what changes need to be made. Sadly, it isn't working the way it is. We look forward to the appointment of two new directors in Bristol!
DownTown August 24, 2011 at 06:17 AM
Unhealthy environment? Who is really responsible for that? Maybe if they didn't hide behind a law firm to answer each and every question at ratepayer expense things wouldn't seem so 'unhealthy'.
Gary Morse August 24, 2011 at 05:46 PM
BCWA has an “unhealthy environment” because it is currently being run based on a 1980’s business model that is bad for the three communities, not because of resident activism.
Gary Morse August 24, 2011 at 07:51 PM
Mr Dugan states: "The demands being made not only by one council but by three councils are a lot and the effort that will be required to answer all of the questions will be tremendous," Mr Dugan, respectfully, this task should not be tremendous because it is not the Board's duty to complete this work. This is/was the job of BCWA's highly paid CFO, Executive Director, and attorney, Sandra Mack. It is not the Board's duty to do their homework assignments for them. Your statement reveals one thing: The current Board under Chairman Jannitto conducts itself as if they are unpaid staff of the Executive Director, not a Board focused on ratepayer interests. I trust our Tri Town Council is smart enough to ask the obvious question: why is the Board doing this work instead of the Executive Director? If the excuse is that the Executive Director is leaving, then put a new one in place immediately!
DownTown August 24, 2011 at 11:40 PM
Gary, What happens if they shut the operation down except for billing and all the eligible employees retire and take the lump sum? Bust out first come first served?
Gary Morse August 25, 2011 at 01:10 AM
Jim, If everyone suddenly retired, or even a large portion of employees close to retirement were to leave, currently, there is not enough money in the trust fund to cover the total needed. Keep in mind, you cannot just drain the pension trust fund down to zero dollars if some employees still remain on the job. The rule (GASB) is that the remaining annuities have to be "re-computed" following the avalanche of those heading out the door with their lump sum payments. The trust fund needs to have better than 80% of that computed amount. BCWA would likely have to float some "pension bonds" to cover the liability. At that point, BCWA would then go negative on their debt service ratio.
brian m August 25, 2011 at 02:22 PM
Again we have totally inacurate information posted about the pension fund. The acturary gave his report and if everyone that is eligible retires there is enough money to cover the cost. Also not everyone can retire at the present time. So again please post the truth not made up information.
brian m August 25, 2011 at 02:29 PM
Also the B&E audit has many inaccuracies and I'll be posting them shortly.
Gary Morse August 25, 2011 at 03:09 PM
Brian, Regarding your pension fund comment above, the information is NOT made up. The actuary does not compute the lump sum payments based on the actual (current) low rates of interest which has the impact of understating the lump sum payment liability. You can prove this to yourself by asking how much was paid to those who retired this past year against what the actuary actually calculated they would be paid. In case you are wondering, the size of the pension lump sum checks paid to any employee is a public record available to you on request per the current AG (ruling to Treasurer Raimondo several months ago.) So you can ask for this information and compare it yourself. Also, the current BCWA pension liability is based on an annuity calculation, not the lump sum calculation, and what liability exists is based on a discount rate of 8%, not 6% as has been used in the past. The Board made the decision on it's own last year to increase to 8% from 6%. The State Treasurer asked all of their own investment advisors what the chance was of even making 7.5%. Their answer was only a 42.5% chance. You can check that out also. I hope to hear back from you on what was actually paid vs what the actuary said they would be paid for checks. You know how to reach me if you have any "off line" questions.
Gary Morse August 25, 2011 at 06:09 PM
Brian, The State Treasurer seems to disagree with the wisdom of the BCWA Board on the current BCWA pension investment assumptions: "Raimondo says the state’s assumed rate of return on investments, just lowered to 7.5 percent, may still be optimistic. The state’s pension-funding consultants have “warned that the state only has a 42.5 percent chance of achieving this target." (Projo Monday May 23, 2011) http://www.projo.com/news/content/PENSION_REPORT_23_05-23-11_QRO7UJU_v44.50dbb13.html I'm not trying to challenge the BCWA Board's investment skills when they raised the pension expected rate of return to "8%" in 2010. I only suggest that when they took it upon themselves to do this without the advice of their own investment advisor, they took a huge long term risk.

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