Citizens group attends BPU meeting

Citizens group attends BPU meeting

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Members of 21st Century KCK Citizens United attended tonight’s Board of Public Utilities meeting. (Photo by William Crum)

by William Crum

More than 250 people, many of them members of 21st Century KCK Citizens United, attended tonight’s Board of Public Utilities meeting.

The citizens group held a community meeting March 26 that it called “The People vs. the BPU.” The citizens group surveyed people about their BPU bills and is studying issues connected with them.

At the beginning of the meeting Board President David Alvey explained the roles of the board, and the general background of BPU itself. He also stated the board encourages people to come to the board meetings and find out what is really going on. He said this is not a political forum at all.

“We set the policies for the board,” he said. He also said, “We as board members do not know about everyone’s bill. In fact,” he said, “it is illegal for us to do so. This is why we have members of the staff there to answer all questions.”

After that BPU chief communications officer David Mehlhaff gave a speech regarding the various departments of the BPU, plus he gave an explanation on such things as why BPU uses the Smart meter system and how to read a utility bill.

Prior to Mehlhaff’s speech a lot of people decided to walk out of the meeting. In fact, some of the members of the audience appeared to be very disgusted and left, while others chose to stay around and listen.

After the meeting members of the BPU staff stayed around to answer questions about the residents’ utility bills.

Security also was increased at tonight’s BPU meeting.

Board of Public Utilities President David Alvey explained to a visiting citizens’ group tonight that the board members set policy for the utility, while the BPU staff deals with bills. (Photo by William Crum)

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