Councilmember Bruce Harrell
RECONFIRMATION PROCESS OF CITY LIGHT HEAD CARRASCO IS UNDERWAY
Thorough and thoughtful process to conclude with reconfirmation hearing this spring
SEATTLE – Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Energy and Technology Committee, announced today that the reconfirmation process of Seattle City Light Superintendent Jorge Carrasco has begun. A list of confirmation tasks and dates has been placed online at www.seattle.gov/council/issues/carrasco_reconfirmation.htm.
A key date is April 23, 2008 when a Public Comment Session will be held in the Council Chambers. Councilmember Harrell has made it clear that reconfirmation of a department head should not be taken lightly, the process will be thorough, and achievements as well as deficiencies will be analyzed. Significant outreach to employees and customers will be conducted in order to assist in the process of deciding whether to confirm or not.
In 2003, when the Council was faced with the reconfirmation of then-Superintendent Gary Zarker, Seattle residents and city employees witnessed that being reconfirmed is not always a sure thing. Zarker had been drawing criticism for a 58% rate increase; a failure to develop and implement an imperative risk management plan; and doubling the utility’s debt. When it became clear that he was not going to be reconfirmed, Zarker abruptly retired. Carrasco accepted the position of Superintendent after a nationwide search.
Carrasco, too, has drawn criticism for concerns such as employee morale, risk management, and failing to promote from within. However, under his watch, rates have decreased by 13% and work has commenced on Council mandated initiatives such as asset management, outage management, and strategic planning. Councilmember Harrell said, “It is my job to analyze the achievements as well as the deficiencies, to weigh and balance performance and service; and to conduct a thorough process using tools to evaluate and measure his proven outcomes.”