Burlington Mayor Kiss fights back, to call special council meeting on BT

first_imgBurlington Telecom,Burlington Mayor Bob Kiss has taken issue with several aspects of the audit of Burlington Telecom. The audit offered a scathing rebuke of the city’s administration and the financials of the ailing municipal cable, voice, Internet company. The mayor said Friday the city was continuing to review the Larkin Report, anticipating a further response this week.The report was initiated by the Vermont Public Service Department in the Fall of 2009 and released December 10, 2010 (STORY). So far, Kiss said the city has identified several gaps and omissions in the report, including but not limited to:· Larkin staff never contacted or interviewed City officials or the City’s consultant Dorman & Fawcett;· Larkin never interviewed the City’s independent auditors, Sullivan, Powers & Co. (’SPC’);· Larkin’s analysis fails to include recent developments with CitiCapital; and· Larkin failed to account for BT’s current financial status and improvements implemented since Dorman & Fawcett took over interim management of BT nearly 4 months agoThe City’s ongoing review of Larkin’s accounting claims about BT also shows that almost every issue cited from the City’s management letters, in section L of the report, had been addressed by the City by the end of FY10, at least six months before Larkin completed its report. In addition, a formal process for monitoring the Certificate of Public Good (’CPG’) was addressed in September 2009 prior to initiation of the Larkin report; however Larkin failed to note this significant development.‘Our review shows that Larkin failed to understand how and when the City addressed issues identified in auditor management letters, causing the report to be misleading,’ said Chief Administrative Officer Jonathan P.A. Leopold.The Larkin Report does not discuss or address in any way recent developments related to the work of Dorman & Fawcett. The City has terminated its lease agreement with CitiCapital and, through Dorman & Fawcett, is in advanced discussions with several interested strategic and financial partners to procure replacement equipment. Dorman & Fawcett assumed interim management of BT in August 2010, implementing several changes, showing revenue levels above last year’s, and reaching a cash flow position well above operational costs. Larkin failed to contact Dorman & Fawcett about these or any other issues.‘The Larkin Report lacks credibility,’ said Mayor Bob Kiss. ‘Larkin praises the Blue Ribbon Committee but fails to observe that the City has been implementing the Committee’s primary recommendations. With the assistance of Dorman & Fawcett, the City has sought to address the CitiCapital lease while improving BT’s cashflow and the efficiency of BT’s operations. BT’s viability is of paramount importance. It is a major mistake to rely on the Larkin report. It is dated, incomplete, and contains numerous omissions.’Mayor Kiss added, ‘This report has been characterized as independent, which is not true. In reality, it was prepared for the Department of Public Service and David O’Brien in the context of an adversarial proceeding.’ Larkin has been involved with the City and Public Service Department in prior proceedings late last year related to a Burlington Electric Department rate increase. Larkin’s analysis in that case was ultimately rejected by the parties in favor of the City’s position.Mayor Kiss said the City will respond in more detail next week, after additional time to review the report. The City will also consider whether to formally respond to the report to the Public Service Board.In related news, Mayor Kiss announced Friday he will call a special City Council meeting on BT sometime in early January.Burlington, VT ‘ December 17, 2010. The City of Burlingtonlast_img read more

Compromise Budget: Government That Works

first_imgLike Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf December 09, 2015 By: J.J. Abbott, Deputy Press Secretary Compromise Budget: Government That Workscenter_img Government That Works,  The Blog In bipartisan fashion, the Pennsylvania Senate overwhelmingly passed a compromise budget based on the agreed-to framework established weeks ago by the Governor and legislative leaders. In addition to historic investments in our schools and the first step toward the restoration of the cuts made to human services programs, this budget enhances the governor’s mission to create a government that works for all Pennsylvanians.This compromise budget invests in important programs aimed at solving some of Pennsylvania’s biggest crises and expanding some of the commonwealth’s most successful programs: increasing funding to combat the heroin epidemic, investing in workforce development programs, funding four new cadet classes for the Pennsylvanian State Police, increasing access to food security for needy families, and protecting Pennsylvanians’ air and water.Attacking the Heroin EpidemicThe compromise budget includes an additional $9 million in funding toward efforts to combat the heroin epidemic spread across three agencies. Since his inauguration, Governor Wolf has worked with his administration to provide real solutions not only to save lives but also to help addicted individuals and their families get the treatment they need to live long, productive lives.Such actions taken by the Wolf Administration include the development of the ABC-MAP prescription drug monitoring program which can finally be implemented upon passage of the budget, the creation of the interagency Heroin Task Force, the support for the use of naloxone at schools across the commonwealth, and stocking all Pennsylvania State Police cars and Capitol Police officers with the naloxone drug. Since equipping State Police cars with naloxone, over 300 lives have been saved with this drug. Further, at the Governor’s request, Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine signed a standing-order allowing any Pennsylvanian to obtain this life-saving drug.Investing in WorkersThe budget increases funding for Department of Labor and Industry programs totaling nearly $11 million, including $4 million for increased training initiatives; $5 million to leverage an additional $18.5 million in federal funds for vocational rehabilitation and assistance; and $400,000 to expand services at centers for independent living. This infusion of state dollars will help Pennsylvania significantly strengthen and expand these vital programs and partnerships with higher education and the private sector.Making Pennsylvania SaferThe compromise budget increases funding for the Pennsylvania State Police by nearly $25 million to fund four new cadet classes and increase complement to the highest level in commonwealth history. This will increase the strength of Pennsylvania’s primary law enforcement and public safety agency despite expected retirements and turnover.Strengthening Food SecurityThe budget includes an increase in the State Food Purchase Program of $3.4 million, providing additional funding for local food banks, to ensure the most vulnerable of Pennsylvania’s families can find food security in their time of need.Protecting Air and WaterThis compromise increases funding for Department of Environmental Protection program appropriations by more than $8 million, including a nearly $5 million increase to protect Pennsylvanians’ air and water quality. SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Equinor Gets NPD Nod to Extend Åsgard A Production

first_imgEquinor has received an approval from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate for extended technical lifetime for the Åsgard A facility in the Norwegian Sea until 2027.It will extend the production twelve years longer than the original plan.Åsgard A plays a particularly important role in recovering as much as possible of the remaining liquid reserves in Smørbukk and Smørbukk Sør, as most of the gas injection wells on these fields are tied in to Åsgard A and will rely on the gas injection from Åsgard A through the 2020s.The licenses are also considering new drilling targets and wells linked to Åsgard A both in the shorter and longer term, and they will be important measures to promote improved recovery.Additional measures to improve recovery are also being planned. A project involving ‘low wellhead pressure’ is important, and has an expected start-up date in 2022, NPD said.Recovery of Trestakk as well as the ‘Blåbjørn’ discovery depends on an extended lifetime for Åsgard A.The technical lifetime for the Åsgard A facility was originally based on 20 years of operation, and expires in 2019.last_img read more

Jamaica open to giving disabled drivers licences.

first_img Share 56 Views   no discussions Sharing is caring! Share Sharecenter_img Legislative amendments could be coming to allow disabled Jamaicans to get driver’s licences soon.KINGSTON, Jamaica– An almost 80-year-old law that has prevented disabled Jamaicans from being independently mobile looks likely to be soon struck from the statute books.Reports coming out of Jamaica are that amendments are likely to be made to the Road Traffic Act Regulations of 1938, which prohibited persons with paralysed legs from taking driving tests and earning the right to legally drive. According to the Jamaica Observer, their coverage of the discrimination against physically disabled persons who have been refused licences to drive based on the requirements 1938 act caught the attention of Transport Minister Dr Omar Davies and Senator Mark Golding, minister of justice, who have started the process toward reform.This was an area crying out for reform, so that persons with physical disabilities in Jamaica are facilitated rather than held back by laws which have not kept pace with modern thinking,” Golding reportedly told the media house.While it is possible for persons with disabilities affecting their spine and legs to still drive vehicles by having the necessary pedals and levels normally positioned in the floor of the vehicle moved to within arm’s reach of the disabled driver, according to the Observer, disabled people have been thwarted from getting this far as the licensing authority had barred those with a “walking disability” from even taking the driving test under the 1938 law.Forty-four-year-old Gausia Burchell was one of the men whose plight was highlighted in the Sunday Observer story. He was paralysed from the waist down after receiving serious injuries while working in the US.Sections 18 and 20 of the Road Traffic Act oultines the circumstances under which an applicant for a driver’s licence can be refused one. Applicants who have a physical disability must produce a certificate “from a registered medical practitioner, in the prescribed form, certifying that he is not suffering from any such disease or physical disability as may be specified in the form, or any other disease or physical disability which would be likely to cause the driving by him of a motor vehicle to be a source of danger to the public…,” including:“Loss of both hands or both feet, or one hand and one foot.”However, after consultations among the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing; the Ministry of Justice; the Combined Disabilities Foundation of Jamaica; and other stakeholders such as the Island Traffic Authority, an amendment is being made to this regulation which would delete the words “both feet”.The minister of transport, works and housing has reportedly approved the amendments which will come in force as soon as they have been signed and gazetted, possibly within weeks.President of the Combined Disabilities Association, Gloria Goffe, has been quoted by the Observer as saying that the disabled community is really happy about the amendment to the act, which will allow some of them to get their licences on modified vehicles.Caribbean 360 News Tweet NewsRegional Jamaica open to giving disabled drivers licences. by: – June 19, 2012last_img read more

Genesis adds to contingency bounty in four IMCA divisions

first_imgROSWELL, Ga. – Genesis Racing Shocks adds to the post-season IMCA bounty with contingency awards in four divisions.Top eligible drivers in each of the five Xtreme Motor Sports IMCA Modified regions and in national IMCA Late Model, Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod and Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center Southern SportMod standings receive $350 product certificates from the Roswell, Ga., company and eight-year IMCA marketing partner.Certificates good for $250 go to each runner-up and at $150 to each third-place finisher. Certificates will be presented during the national awards banquet in November or mailed the following week from the IMCA home office.Drivers in all four divisions are required to compete with four Genesis-manufactured shocks, display two Genesis decals on their race car and return a signup form to the IMCA home office by Aug. 1 to be eligible.Information about Genesis shocks is available at the www.genesisshocks.com website, on Facebook or by calling 678 659-9454.“I’ve already received correspondence from drivers using Genesis shocks and signing up for this program and certainly encourage everyone to make sure they get that form filled out and returned to me,” emphasized IMCA Marketing Director Kevin Yoder. “As the summer stretches on the ‘to-do’ list gets longer on the race car, and we want to make sure racers are eligible for every bit of assistance possible.”last_img read more