by

Quiet

WGTB logo PNG 112x89 Post 17 in a series. When Green Turns Brown is an examination of a small town’s digester-energy project, in which Whitewater, Wisconsin would import other cities’ waste, claiming that the result would be both profitable and green.

Month after month, in the first half of 2014, after behind-the-scenes discussions in 2013, vendor Trane presented to Whitewater on both a digester-energy project and an energy-savings project. The price for these two deals was over a million dollars, with a ‘feasibility’ study for the digester-energy project alone priced at, effectively, six-figures. (One might consider the cost of the digester-energy study more like Whitewater’s payment for Trane’s sales own presentations, but that’s not how either Whitewater’s city manager, wastewater superintendent, or Trane’s representatives described it.)

I’ve devoted posts to these two Trane proposals because Whitewater’s municipal manager and wastewater superintendent spent so much time on them. They advanced these proposals, and supported their approval, insisting on the merit of both vendor and concept.

And so, I’ve written about those meetings, and that support:

From those meetings alone, I’ve populated a Question Bin with inquiries to be considered.  Those questions will be useful to me later on; there should be an order for addressing a topic.  (See, Steps for Blogging on a Policy or Proposal.)

What, then, of the confidence that Whitewater City Manager Cameron Clapper and Wastewater Superintendent Tim Reel placed in Trane?  What of their consistent urging  (and that of others) that, in their judgment, Whitewater should spend well over a million (along the way to millions more) on Trane’s work?

One finds these entries, from the Whitewater Common Council agendas of 12.2.14 and 12.16.14, respectively:

CLOSED SESSION. Adjournment to Closed Session, to reconvene
approximately 25 minutes after adjournment to closed session, per Wisconsin
Statutes 19.85(1)(e):
“Deliberating or negotiating the purchasing of public properties, the investing
of public funds, or conducting other specified public business, whenever
competitive or bargaining reasons require a closed session”,
and per 19.85(1)(g):
“Conferring with legal counsel for the governmental body who is rendering
oral or written advice concerning strategy to be adopted by the body with
respect to litigation in which it is or is likely to become involved.”
Item to be Discussed:
Strategy and settlement discussions related to the Bio solids and Efficiency
Improvement Project Contract with Trane U.S. Inc. and other aspects of the
project.
Reconvene into Open Session:
Directions to City staff concerning actions related to the Bio solids and
Efficiency Improvement Project Contract with Trane U.S. Inc. and other
aspects of the project.
ADJOURNMENT.

and

EXECUTIVE SESSION. Adjournment to Closed Session, to reconvene
approximately 25 minutes after adjournment to closed session, per Wisconsin
Statutes 19.85(1)(e):
“Deliberating or negotiating the purchasing of public properties, the investing
of public funds, or conducting other specified public business, whenever
competitive or bargaining reasons require a closed session”,
and per 19.85(1)(g):
“Conferring with legal counsel for the governmental body who is rendering
oral or written advice concerning strategy to be adopted by the body with
respect to litigation in which it is or is likely to become involved.”
and per 19.85(1)(c):
“Considering employment, promotion, compensation or performance
evaluation data of any public employee over which the governmental body
has jurisdiction or exercises responsibility.”
Items to be Discussed:
Strategy and settlement discussions related to the Bio solids and Efficiency
Improvement Project Contract with Trane U.S. Inc. and other aspects of the
project.
Union Negotiations with WPPA (Wisconsin Professional Police
Association).
Reconvene into Open Session:
Possible directions to City staff concerning actions related to the Bio solids
and Efficiency Improvement Project Contract with Trane U.S. Inc. and other
aspects of the project.
AND
Possible Action on WPPA Union Contract.
ADJOURNMENT

The minutes for these meetings report that no action was taken after reconvening from closed session. Details of the concerns that prompted these two closed sessions have not, to my knowledge, been published anywhere.

Council Discussion Closed Session, 12.2.14 (Trane)
Agenda: http://www.whitewater-wi.gov/images/stories/2014-1202_complete_packet_with_links.pdf
Minutes: http://www.whitewater-wi.gov/images/stories/2014-1202.pdf
Video: https://vimeo.com/113940875

Council Presentation, 12.16.14 (Donohue) and Closed Session (Trane)
Agenda: http://www.whitewater-wi.gov/images/stories/2014-1216_complete_packet_reduced_with_links.pdf
Minutes: http://www.whitewater-wi.gov/images/stories/2014-1216.pdf
Video: https://vimeo.com/113940875

WHEN GREEN TURNS BROWN: Mondays @ 10 AM, here on FREE WHITEWATER.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *