Gardner electric utility ran illegally for six years

The new attorney for Gardner, Kan., found the city ran their electric utilities illegally for six years. Now, there are insurance concerns about who’s liable.

A special meeting was scheduled for Monday night at City Hall to try and create a new ordinance that is compliant with the law. However, some residents think the issue should have been fixed months ago.

Duane Waldman is a father of four and attends almost every City Council meeting. He likes to know what's going on in his city.

In October of 2013, the city's new attorney uncovered several errors with the city's electric utility board. The attorney said the board wasn't being run correctly under state law and was illegal.

Waldman said he doesn't understand why these errors weren't fixed immediately.

"It's kind of a mess right now. I don't understand why they won't repeal it and move forward working toward the BPU, they have a majority that can do it and they haven't yet. I think that should have already been done," Waldman said.

City Administrator Cheryl Harrison-Lee said it's a process.

"They've raised several issues so we've started this process of evaluating and trying to take corrective action back in October," Harrison-Lee said.

The city voted twice on a new ordinance since October, but both measures failed. Now, the city's insurance company said the city may not be covered.

"To my knowledge, this is the first time the leadership has been made aware of any insurance concerns so we're discussing it tonight,” Harrison-Lee said. “We'll have the insurance representative here to provide clarification on that so we can determine the appropriate next steps."

The city and residents hope to find more answers about who is liable at the meeting Monday night.

 

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