Voorhees Vigilantes: Lemmings in Pursuit of the Golden Goose

10-22-14-pub-notes.gifLast week, PWC filed a law suit in Superior Court against the City of Fayetteville and the Fayetteville City Council to clarify its authority and responsibility to operate as a city-owned utility. What?

After decades of nearly flawless operations, superb management, national achievements and recognition, Fayetteville city officials and staff, under the misdirection of City Manager Ted Voorhees, have embarked on a “money grab” that equates to the killing of the fabled goose that laid the golden egg.

It is a shame that tens of thousands of taxpayers’ dollars will be wasted needlessly because Voorhees and his lemmings have an acute case of greed and “competency envy.”

This is unfortunate.

In America, greatness is best achieved by hard work, dedication, perseverance and mimicking the virtues, values and work ethic of other successful people, businesses and organizations. Today, as this sad situation demonstrates, it’s easier to connive, finagle, dumb down or ravish those operations, businesses and organizations that have achieved greatness in hopes that the greatness of the organization will become their reality. Well, I have news for the city manager and his lemmings; it doesn’t work that way and it never has.

Objectively, the management and leadership at PWC has proven itself efficient, competent and capable of being good stewards of taxpayer money through decades of successful operation. I repeat, decades. They have never embarrassed our city and, have actually brought us a great sense of Fayetteville pride as PWC employees and management maintain their status as the most visible, most active, most engaged and most responsive organization in all of Cumberland County. In this writer’s opinion, it must remain that way.

The framers of the original PWC Charter knew that for successful and profitable operation of the utility, and, to create a sustaining platform for future growth of the utility, it had to be free of outside influences and local political hijinks that comes with two-year elections of city councilmen, some of whom do not have the capacity to grasp the massive magnitude of responsibility and complexities of operating a public utility. Again, the existing PWC Charter addresses this by allowing the City Council to appoint a four-member board to oversee, direct and advise the operation of the city’s utility.

To date, the board has been extremely competent at this task. Responsible Fayetteville citizens like Terry Union, Wilson Lacy, Wick Smith, Lou Olivera, Lynne Green, Mike Lallier, Darsweil Rogers and the newest appointed member, Wade Fowler, are perfect examples. With this being the case, what does our Fayetteville City Manager and his lemmings know that these intelligent and responsible people do not?

The answer is, absolutely nothing.

It’s a money grab in the purist sense of the word. The pretense? Transparency. Yes! This means they want to know more about what’s going on at PWC, right? Well, the first thing they should want to learn more about is how PWC manages to run an efficient operation. Why? Because that is what makes PWC so successful.

In closing this column, I will leave you with a question.

Why wouldn’t the city council, city manager, city staff and management not want to mimic this type of operation?

The PWC Charter is a sound document and, I feel confident that the Superior Court will find that past history and performance is an indicator of positive future outcomes.

PWC touches hundreds of thousands of lives in this community. Voorhees and his lemmings would have a difficult time elaborating on this.Why?

Because they don’t know how. We’ve seen it time and again in decisions made by Voorhees’ administration. Sadder than that, they don’t care. Responsible citizens need to speak up and have their voices heard on this matter. PWC vs. the City of Fayetteville? There are no winners here, only losers and that’s you and me: the tax paying residents and businesses of Fayetteville.

You can count on this: When the legal bills come due, the PWC coffers are ravaged and depleted and we are faced with higher utility costs and increased local taxes, rest assured that our city manager and his lemmings will all be long gone.

Thank you for reading Up& Coming Weekly.

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