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Sundquist Has Right To Pick His Own BPU Board Members

Three longtime Board of Public Utilities board members — Greg Rabb, Jim Olson and sitting City Councilwoman Marie Carrubba — are upset they are not being reappointed to the BPU board by Mayor Eddie Sundquist.

They’re right to be upset. They have years of experience with the utility in various capacities and bring a wealth of knowledge to the board.

We don’t know why Mayor Eddie Sundquist has chosen to go in a different direction, though we note the situation is not nearly as rancorous as the decision six years ago by former Mayor Sam Teresi not to reappoint three longtime members to the BPU board. In that instance, there were very serious, public disagreements between the three board members and Teresi — and those disagreements were making it difficult for the BPU board to function as efficiently as it should have.

But there is something analagous to take out of this situation. A rift caused Teresi to go a different direction in his BPU board appointments. There is now a long-known rift in the city Democratic Party, and right now it doesn’t favor Rabb, Carrubba and Olson.

We were disappointed to see John Zabrodsky, Wayne Rishell and Carl Pillittieri leave the BPU board in 2016. We will be similarly disappointed to see Rabb, Olson and Carrubba leave the board in 2022 — but Sundquist has his reasons.

Our opinion hasn’t changed over the last six years. Sean Connor and Sabrina Gustafson are two of the appointees Sundquist wants to place on the BPU board — and it goes without saying they have big shoes to fill. We hope, if they are confirmed by the City Council, that Connor and Gustafson bring a questioning attitude to the board when deciding budgets and spending while also acting autonomously, weighing all the information at hand before making decisions.

We hope, in short, that they keep ratepayers in mind.

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