City Management Responds To Allegations Of Filtering Information

(FRESNO , CA June 9, 2006) – City Manager, Andy Souza, together with Assistant City Manager, Jon Ruiz, and Interim Director of Public Utilities, Rene Ramirez, respond to allegations of “filtering information” presented to Council in a report on utility rates.

City Council members were presented a draft report for utility rate studies on Wednesday that summarized four independent reports submitted by three individual consultants on four City utility divisions regarding rate structures.

In response to Council President Duncan’s allegation that the “information was filtered before it reached Council”, Ramirez responded, “The alleged filtering of information is simply not true.”

Assistant City Manager, Ruiz added, “The report submitted to Council was the financial analysis of the recommendations contained in the rate studies.”

Mayor Autry weighed in stating, “The budget is strong, fair, innovative and well thought out. It’s a budget that allows our community to continue moving forward in the midst of some very challenging times. The only filter at play here is the political litmus test that the Council President seems intent on putting every aspect of this budget through.”

Mayor Autry further states, “I will not raise utility rates until I am absolutely certain that these critical services are delivered to the people of Fresno in the most cost-effective manner possible. There is ample evidence to suggest that the present structure does not totally accomplish that goal. I owe it to the taxpayers of this City and future generations of Fresnans to take a long, hard look at the creation of a Municipal Utility District and I am doing just that.”

Andrew T. Souza , City Manager
Contact: Rhonda Jorn,Public Affairs Officer: (559) 621-7777

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