Mar 4 2016

OPINION: Piedmont Taxes and Bonds: Once bitten, twice shy.

Lawsuits –

On February 19, Piedmont’s City Clerk announced resolution of the second of two lawsuits arising from the excessive cost overruns of the Piedmont Hills Undergrounding District, and the Hampton-Seaview Undergrounding District.  The City recouped $667,000 from over $2 million of excess costs.  The bottom line is that Piedmont’s taxpayers are stuck covering a $1.3 million debacle.

Now it’s over.  It’s time to move on.  We must accept the penalty and see that such gross mismanagement is never repeated again.   True enough.  But there are consequences from this financial fiasco.  Future proposals for tax increases or bond funding for big projects will have to meet higher standards of review.  And if there is any doubt at all about the veracity of new proposals, or the competence of their sponsors, Piedmont’s citizens will probably reject them.  Once bitten, twice shy.

Bruce Joffe, Piedmont Resident

 Editors’ Note:  Opinions expressed are those of the author.

2 Responses to “OPINION: Piedmont Taxes and Bonds: Once bitten, twice shy.”

  1. Thanks to a diligent, hard working task force of Piedmont residents, organized by the Piedmont League of Women Voters, the City Council adopted a comprehensive Risk Management Policy in 2014, which lays out precise steps for City staff to follow in evaluating the potential pitfalls of major projects before any funds are allocated or work begun.

  2. Going forward, the Hampton Field project offers a good test case of the City’s risk management process that was implemented after PHUUD. Not the same as undergrounding but construction management was just one of the problems with PHUUD. Bruce raises the bigger issue – how to vette public-private proposals – and that is not so easily addressed by the policy.

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