Citizens Water hears ACED presentation, and current salaries of CEG’s management

On April 17th,  I attended the regular meeting of the Technical Advisory Group of Citizens Water.  Robert Sparks, Director of the Anderson Corporation for Economic development, had asked to make a presentation and brought 2 engineers from DLZ and one from SESCO.

As I expected, their presentation was focused on the water supply/drought management rationale.  In fact, he listed the objectives in relative order of importance— water supply, flood control, and recreation.  He said that the original objective had been redevelopment.    He also said that they had preliminary conversations with state and federal regulatory agencies and said that none of them had put any “fatal flaws” in the path.  Notably, he also said that their communications with regulators had been entirely verbal because any written communications/documents would have been publicly disclosable under the freedom of information laws.  Translation: secrecy is the preferred method of operating for the Anderson Corporation for Economic Development.

Today’s post by the Advance Indiana blog (shown below) lists the high salaries paid to management personnel at Citizens Energy group, of which Citizens Water is a subsidiary.  It’s pulled from an on-line database supplied by The Indianapolis Star.  There is a petition for substantial rate increases for sewer and water currently pending before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.  Ironically, at an April meeting of the Marion County Alliance of Neighborhood Associations, a Citizens water representation said the company (which is by statute a unique public charitable trust) is very aware of rate affordability issues, and told the audience that there were 180,000 people in Marion County who were at or below the federal poverty line.

Water and sewer services promise to be increasingly costly in the future.  And if the Anderson Corporation for Economic Development is able to persuade Citizens Water to participate in the development of its stunningly expensive “reservoir dream”, it is probably safe to say that those costs would increase even more.   Hold onto your wallets.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Citizens Energy Officials Grossly Overpaid

The Indianapolis Star has provided an up-to-date online database of salaries paid to various public officials in Indiana. Fortunately, the database has included officials of Citizens Energy, the nonprofit public utility that operates gas, sewer and water utilities for Indianapolis consumers. The pay to top officials of the utility is outrageous. Citizen’s CEO, Carey Lykins, is the highest earning public official in the state of Indiana, receiving a salary of $2.9 million. There are 16 top officials earning more than $250,000 a year. This is an outrage and the IURC should start scrutinizing their double-digit rate increases and asking why the top officials of the company are feasting at the expense of Indianapolis’ utility consumers. Obviously, there is no body on the board of directors overseeing Citizens Energy who is the least bit concerned how inefficiently this utility is being operated or you wouldn’t see so many employees earning outrageous salaries. Some of these positions are simply made up positions to provide a high-paying job to appease someone, which may or may not require any actual work or knowledge. Seriously, does Citizen really need to be paying someone nearly a half million dollars a year to be in charge of community relations or customer relations? What a joke.

Carey Lykins, CEO-$2.9 million
Margaret Jean Richcreek, CAO-$1.4 million
John Brehm, CFF-$766,000
John Whitaker-Chief Legal Counsel-$706,000
Robert Hummel, VP, Human Resources-$642,000
Lindsay Lindgren, VP, Water Operations-$542,000
Jeffrey Harrison, VP, Engineering-$532,000
Yvonne Perkins, VP, Community Relations-$484,000
Michael Strohl, VP, Customer Relations-$460,000
John Lucas, VP, IT-$452,000
Aaron Johnson, VP, Strategy & Corporate Dev.-$369,000
Latona Prentice, VP, Regulatory Affairs-$355,000
Christopher Braun, VP, Energy Operations-$354,000
Kristine Kuhn, Director, Internal Audit-$268,000
Matthew Klein, Director, Resource Planning-$260,000
Blair Dougherty, Controller-$259,000

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