This editorial in the Chico Enterprise Record pretty much sums up the whole green movement problem; they’re blind as mole rats when it comes to self examination. I used to be on this sustainability committee, but got booted off because the majority (university types) voted to move the meetings to middle of the work day, when people that aren’t on the state dole actually have to be at work to run their own businesses. That ploy effectively weeded out all the local businessmen, including me and two others on the committee.
Now, with nobody watching but pal reviewers, they’ve crossed a line, and been called on it for wholesale conflict of interest while remaining clueless as to why.
Editorial: Grant doesn’t pass sniff test
Our view: The city should be more careful about how it throws around grant money. No special favors should be handed out.
A sustainability committee hand-picked by the Chico City Council decided to apply for a $400,000 grant from PG&E, then gave $70,000 of that grant to two members of the committee in exchange for work.
What’s the big deal, wondered one of the beneficiaries. What’s the big deal, wondered one reader in a letter to the editor.
Where to begin?
The money was awarded without the work going out to bid. That lack of accountability is galling. Only members of the Sustainability Task Force are qualified to do the work?
The ethical questions don’t end there. Honesty is doing the right thing when nobody is watching. Well the truth is, not many people keep an eye on the Sustainability Task Force, and they did something that other commissions — and the council itself — would never get away with.
We were bothered by the quote from city employee Linda Herman, who told reporter Katy Sweeny, “It just kills me when people take a really good project and turn it into something nasty.”
It sounds as if she is saying, “We’re doing good things here, so don’t question us.”
The controversy started when a City Council member wrote about the issue. Mark Sorensen, who writes an informative blog at http://www.norcalblogs.com, said a citizen asked him about the PG&E grant and why Sustainability Task Force members benefited from it.
Sorensen looked into it. The grant was supposed to be spent to make homes more energy efficient. Task force member Jon Stallman, a former Butte College employee, received $60,250 to administer the program. Task force member Scott McNall, a former Chico State University administrator, will get $10,000 to manage students who are evaluating residents’ energy use.
Sorensen wrote, in part: “On the question of conflict, my gut-level value system rings full-scale alarm — as does 24-plus years of nonprofit board experience where we would simply never direct agency business to a board member, even if there was an advantage to the agency. It just looked too much like self-dealing …”
He can see that. We can see that. Most other people see that, too. The folks who received the benefit, not surprisingly, apparently do not.
At least Herman allowed, yes, the work probably should have gone out to bid.
Full story here.
I really have to laugh at CSUC’s Scott McNall, who recently said of the climate change issue:
“There are certain people who benefit from denying that climate change is real,” said Scott McNall, executive director of the Institute for Sustainable Development at Chico State. “If you’re selling oil or gas, you’re not really interested in trying to conserve energy. There’s a financial interest in denying climate change is real, but we’ve known that for a long time.”
The flip side is that there are certain people who benefit from hawking climate change alarmism, now with some grant cash to monitor residents energy use, Scott McNall is clearly one of them. He can be certain that if one of his
students come snooping around my home or business asking questions about my energy use they’ll be immediately asked to leave with an admonition of “it’s none of your damn business“. Besides, why the hell do we need this intrusion since we were all forced to install Smartmeters that log our energy use last year?
And people wonder why California is in trouble. Problem is, people like McNall think taxpayers and business owners are cows that never run dry. Not just here, but worldwide we need to yank the teats out of their mouths and wean them.