DUE TO THE CLOSURE OF THE COCO'S AT PARADISE VALLEY MALL THIS WEEK, WE WILL BE HOLDING THE ARIZONA BREAKFAST CLUB AT THE HOME OF ERNEST AND DONNE HANCOCK - WE WILL PROVIDE BREAKFAST - THE MEETING CHARGE WILL BE $10 PER HEAD TO COVER THE MEAL AND MEETING
LOCATION - 4886 W PORT AU PRINCE LANE; GLENDALE, AZ 85306 (please note that I-17 will be closed this weekend from Glendale to Peoria)
Join us for the June 6th, 2015 meeting of the Arizona Breakfast Club held at the Hancock's.
Steve Neil (local activist) is the featured speaker at the June 6th Arizona Breakfast Club where he will talk about his dealings with SRP (a local power and water company in Arizona), and options for solar and being energy independent
Steve's interview on the Declare Your Independence with Ernest Hancock Radio Show on May 20th, 2015 that addresses these issues:
A letter from Steve describing his dealings with SRP (a local power and water company in Arizona)...
Friends, an update on the SRP front. Today, I attended the committee and board meetings and there was another incident involving me. So that is two out of three meetings where there has been problems caused by SRP. It seems they are just not used to having company even though they are a "community-based non-profit" which is how they are fond of describing themselves.
Today's event was almost comical. About 35 minutes into the meetings, I was approached by SRP's head attorney and he demanded to see the papers SRP had presented to me upon my arrival in the meeting room. I told him I had taken private notes on them and was not able to let him see them. I eventually learned why he was so interested. He wanted to see if they had given me a paper that was not meant to be seen until the board of directors had approved the transaction which happened about an hour later. Not sure what the big deal was, other than the big deal he made of their mistake. I was told later today by people who know better than me that if I hadn't stuck up for my rights and had handed the papers over against my will, I would have had cause for another open meeting law violation complaint, but since he was not successful because of me standing my ground, I just have a story to tell this time. You can read about SRP buying out Los Angeles' share of the power plant in Page here: http://www.azcentral.com/story/money/business/2015/05/14/srp-agrees-deal-shut-coal-plant/27331941/ The logic of why SRP had to pay out money on this is lost on me at this point.
There was also an article in today's paper about the money SRP spent with advertising and PR firms towards getting their way on the new fees on customers with solar. The most telling thing I saw in the article was the head of SRP's solar programs referring to solar advocates as "the enemy". http://www.azcentral.com/story/money/business/2015/05/14/srp-ads-pr-solar-rate-hike-topped-million/27284303/ SRP says they didn't mean to negatively characterize those who think solar is a good thing as enemies, but if you've spent any time listening to or reading what SRP executives say, you will know that they in fact are at great odds with solar electric and would like to see solar pretty much go away and that this was not just an off-the-cuff remark by one executive.
On a separate topic, SRP announced today in the board meeting that the Arizona Republic has filed a request for documentation of compensation to the elected board and council members. Watch for this article as I expect it will unveil some little known things about SRP that will put into question how "community-based" and "non-profit" they are. Also related, I have requested of SRP complete documentation of the compensation to the top-paid SRP employees. I think the media will be interested in what I find.
I heard back from the Attorney General's office regarding my open meeting law violation complaint that I filed on May 1. I don't have much to go on, but I think they are planning on opening an investigation, and I'm hopeful that it will lead to improvements in SRP's treatment of the public at these meetings. I'm mostly out of the loop on this as it is between the State AG and SRP; I am only a witness in the matter.
To those of you who followed my advice last week and wrote to Stephanie.Reed@srpnet.com and included a message for the board of directors, I have some good news and some bad news. Many wrote, but the board members I spoke with said they only got one message. Turns out that Stephanie forwarded one of your messages, and attached all the other messages you sent to the one, but the board members, who are mostly older and many are not that tech-savvy, didn't see the attached emails. Again, SRP is just not that accustomed to interfacing with the public. Hopefully, we can help them through this problem.
So too little too late is the result it seems, and the board member most interested in rectifying the overcharge, Keith Woods, told the Arizona Republic late last week that he doesn't have the board votes so instead he is going to push for millions more of dollars to be put in a rate stabilization fund. This article can be found at: http://www.azcentral.com/story/money/business/consumer/2015/05/07/srp-will-not-refund-fees-added-to-bills/70930472/ I think putting $7 million into a rate stabilization fund sounds good, but putting $3 million ill-gotten cash back on the barrelhead will always be the better solution.
NEW THING TO DO to help SRP be more community-based and more efficient - START TO ATTEND BOARD MEETINGS. I have been to the past three dates of morning meetings in the past three weeks, and I have been the only member of the public in attendance all three times. I've been told that it is extremely rare for a residential customer to show up. Occasionally a large industrial customer or group of customers and their attorneys will show up. 90% of the time nobody shows up. This really is a shame considering the billions of dollars of our economy that electric and water bills represent.
It takes a bit of diligence to find when the meetings are happening, but because they are a public body, they are required to post their agendas in advance. I'd say that if you were to set a calendar reminder to check on Sunday, you'd see what was coming up in the coming week. The agenda link is https://www.srpnet.com/about/boardagenda/agendas.aspx This coming week, there are several meetings on Tuesday starting at 9:30 am. And almost always the meetings are held at the Project Administration Building at 1521 N. Project Drive, Tempe. You check in at the main entrance of the building, they give you a badge with your name on it, and they walk you to the meeting room. But watch out when they give you papers, or if the guard gets hungry for lunch and you want to stay. You may find yourself in their misguided crosshairs. (No worries. I can help you with the filing of the official complaint.)
I hope you find this info useful. Please feel free to pass it on, post it elsewhere.
LOCATION - 4886 W PORT AU PRINCE LANE; GLENDALE, AZ 85306
THE PRICE FOR THE MEETING IS $10
ARIZONA BREAKFAST CLUB - Meets on the first Saturday of every month.
Will have breakfast ready at 8 a.m. Discussing begins around 8:30 a.m. Meeting ends at 10:00 a.m.