UAC cancels meetings until new members are appointed

Bainbridge Island's Utility Advisory Committee has apparently called off all future meetings until the city council appoints more members to the much-depleted advisory body.

The committee, which advises the council on utility issues, has not met since its first meeting in January.

Just before that meeting, then-chairwoman Arlene Buetow resigned and raised concerns about a lack of city support and guidance. Buetow also complained about public records requests that required her to provide emails she had sent to city council members and other officials.

The UAC, which has four voting members listed on the city's website, including two with expired terms, was scheduled to meet Monday, Feb. 10. That meeting has been canceled.

Deputy City Manager Morgan Smith said Monday the city received an email from UAC Member Jeff Kanter, who told the city that with the UAC down to three members, he thought the committee was in hiatus and would not meet again until its membership was increased.

The committee is required to have between seven and nine voting members. Smith said appointments to the UAC fall within the city council's purview.

The committee's hollowed-out membership is not due to a lack of interest from islanders willing to serve on the oft-controversial advisory body. The city currently has six applications on file from residents who have offered to work on the committee.

Some of those applications, however, have been awaiting action for a year or more.

Eric Turloff, a certified public accountant whose term was set to expire in June 2013, submitted an application for reappointment on May 29, 2013.

Other applicants include Jack Bryan, head of treasury and financial analytics for BlueStep Finans AB; Julie Piazza, a human resources manager for Washington Employers; Nancy Transue, a former school teacher and attorney; Robert Dashiell, a retiree who has worked as a federal fraud and abuse investigator; and Stephen F. Johnson, a former political science professor who served for 23 years as the executive director of the Washington Public Utilities Districts Association.

Bryan applied as a volunteer in late October 2013. Piazza applied for a UAC appointment in November 2012; Transue in April 2012; Johnson in July 2012; and Dashiell in May 2013.



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