MAYOR SHIRLEY FRANKLIN INITIATES REVIEW OF
Shirley Franklin today announced the preliminary findings of an independent committee
appointed to review the Citys contract with United Water. Mayor Franklin also
released the details of her letter sent to United Water on June 10, 2002 initiating
discussions regarding the Citys dissatisfaction with the companys performance
under its contract to operate the Citys water supply system.
Mayor Franklin said, It is no secret that for quite some time we have had serious concerns regarding United Waters performance and commitment under its contract with the City. Efficient and effective operation of the Citys water supply is crucial to the long-term health of the City and its citizens, and it is a basic obligation of the company under the contract. United Water has not lived up to its responsibility, and it is past time that we address this problem.
In April 2002, the Mayor asked an outside committee to review the United Water contract and to give her an independent assessment of the companys performance. The committee members are John Arndt, a retired lawyer and certified public accountant; Cal Darden, an executive at United Parcel Service; Lee Dehihns III, an attorney at Alston & Bird; and Karol Mason, also an attorney at Alston & Bird.
the committee has not yet completed its work, it has made sufficient preliminary findings
to advise the Mayor that the June 10 letter was necessary.
other things, the Mayors letter:
letter also outlined four specific recommendations made by the committee to the Mayor:
1. That the City
demand payment from United Water for failure to collect outstanding bills at a rate
of 98.5% or better on a current annual basis, as required under Schedule 19 of the
contract. (The companys failure to
collect this percentage from May 2000 to May 2001 resulted in a shortfall of $8,766,644 of
2. That the City
demand that United Water provide it with a Letter of Credit that complies with the
3. That the City demand that United Water comply with its meter installation obligations under the contract.
4. That the City
demand that United Water adjust its staffing (both in numbers and qualifications) to be
able to comply with its obligations under the contract.
of these issues are of concern. But most
troubling to me is the Committees conclusion that United Water does not have enough
personnel to carry out its responsibilities or that its personnel are not qualified to
perform the work. It is critical that we
resolve this issue, said Mayor Franklin.