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Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014

April 3, 2011

Posted Monday, April 4, 2011, at 4:23 PM

There was a meeting of the Malden Board of Public Works this past Thursday March 31. There were about ten citizens in attendance. I believe they were there because of their concern about the cost of electricity in Malden. The utility rates are determined by the Malden BPW and approved by the Malden City Council. Determining the rate is fairly simple, but what all of us are most concerned about is "How much do I write my check for?". That final number can include things like the "fuel adjustment cost" which is a bill sent to the BPW from our wholesale suppliers every month. The BPW adds nothing to the fuel adjustment cost and neither does it subtract anything. The cost is added to our electric bills.

Running a public utility can be a complicated business and the electricity we use is a commodity traded just like any other commodity. The BPW has contracts to guarantee Malden a supply of electricity.

The bottom line is always the bottom line. Most of us will say "I don't want a lot of gobbledygook about how my bill is figured". Everyone wants it lowered.

If you are among the people in attendance last Thursday evening, you could have heard a very calm and reasoned explanation of our utility rates by the BPW Chairman Clark Duckett. Clark, in conjunction with Manager Brain Haley, put the numbers up on the white board (what happened to blackboard?) and walked us all through them. I believe they did a first rate job. It's possible to argue with the result, but I don't believe you can dispute the explanation.

Most of those in attendance left after the discussion of electrical rates. The meeting started at 5:00 p.m. and lasted until 8:45 p.m. Most of the meeting dealt with the mundane issues of our municipal utility. Everyone that had to be there stayed and most did not get paid for it. The BPW works hard for nothing but the thanks and praise of their fellow citizens.

I am trying to make a point about one man in particular. Clark Duckett chaired that meeting and did a wonderful job. He sat there for three hours and forty-five minutes. When we, including Clark, left, no one knew that Clark would lose his daughter to death in less that twenty-fours hours. He and I had, by sheer coincidence, a conversation about the fragility of life. His daughter is now gone. I have known Clark since he first moved to Malden. We have become close friends.

I can only express my deepest sympathy to Clark and his family for their loss. I choose to believe that I can speak for the entire community of Malden. I ask that all of us who know Clark and his family express our sympathy and keep them in our prayers. He is a good man and loves this town.

The financial reports is as follows:

March 25, 2011

Balance $1,379,062.10

Revenues $106, 518.19

Expenses $127, 359.96

April 1, 2011

Balance $1,358,220.33



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