As many of you know, the City Council has scheduled a debate for Friday, August 21st to decide if the Council believes that the Princeton Public Utilities Commission, a non-partisan, apolitical body of your fellow citizens, should be abolished and all utility rates, policies, and finances should be transferred to the City Council to be used for whatever purposes they deem necessary.
Since Princeton Public Utilities is a public asset to this community, we feel it is important that the City Council be transparent in their discussions and motivations. Below is a copy of an email from the Mayor to City Staff, the City Council, and the Public Utilities Commission. Since this is an email from the Mayor to all members of two government bodies, it is a public document which is why we are sharing it today. It is disconcerting that the Mayor is using his personal email for official city correspondence. In addition, he includes a link to his campaign website in the signature field (although it says www.bradschumacher.com it actually takes the reader to www.schumacherformayor.com).
The items below are in dispute and time will allow each of them to be addressed in turn. As it relates to specific Princeton Public Utility business, the PUC does not have a regular meeting scheduled for tomorrow, August 19th. The next regular PUC meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, August 26th. Tomorrow the PUC has a work study session planned so that Commissioners can receive and review background information on water utility finances. No decisions are ever made at a Work Study Session. It is merely an opportunity for Commissioners to meet as a body to discuss technical information regarding utility operations. The Mayor was never on the Work Study Session agenda and has never requested to be on a Work Study Session agenda.
As for the video mentioned below. It was reported that the Mayor did record a video in front of the Princeton Public Utility office Monday night (August 17th) at approximately 4:45 pm (after our office had closed). If the Mayor has something to say about the PUC and this ballot question, perhaps he should share that video with the public before the City Council votes and not afterwards.
Commissioners Greg Hanson, Dan Erickson, and Rick Schwartz
Princeton Public Utilities Commission
Princeton Public Utilities
From: Brad Schumacher <email@example.com>
Date: August 17, 2020 at 7:32:50 PM CDT
To: Greg Hanson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: Shawna Jenkins <email@example.com>, Robert Barbian <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Dan Erickson <email@example.com>, Rick Schwartz <RSchwartz@princetonutilities.com>, Tim Hennagir <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Thanks to Chairman Hanson for attend the City Council Meeting – from the Mayor.
Clerk CC City Council
Thanks for attending the Princeton City Council meeting on 8/13/2020. I feel like on a personal level that the meeting went very well to have an open and public discussion regarding the topics of the Pilot Program, PUC and possible ballot question.
It was very important to clear the air and get the correct statements out to the public about the “working men and women of PPU including the GM”. A ballot question does not stop or end any of their jobs. A ballot question only ends your job along with Commissioner Erickson’s job at the PUC. The way I see it, Mr. Schwartz would be appointed as Princeton’s voting member on the SMPPA Board as he has requested and the city council agreed by consensus that this would be positive for the city.
So it is my hope that you will stop playing dirty Washington Politics and allow Mr. Schwartz the place on the Wednesday Agenda for the PUC to share his comprehensive plan with the PUC Board and the public. I personally have not heard of his comprehensive plan to immediately restore the Pilot Program but at the city council interview he was really positive about “his plan”.
In a follow-up I had asked to be on the PUC Agenda for Wednesday this week, which now I’m asking to be removed from the agenda and in my place I have asked Vice-Mayor Zimmer to attend the PUC Meeting. This way all the working parties will be given the best opportunity to fix the Pilot Program before the deadline set by the Princeton City Council on 8/21/2020 @ 3PM to have the pilot restored.
As stated on social media last week I will not be publishing the video regarding this topic prior to all the meetings taking place. Mr. Chairman I want you to do the right thing for our community without any added pressure this week.
CC Union-Times Editor