Welcome to the first edition of MEUW’s new weekly update for members. In this space, we’ll share updates, reminders and news that matters to you. Our goal is to keep it brief and we’ll often include links to more detailed information for those who are interested. And because everyone is busy, in future issues, we’ll include a “Worth Repeating” section in case you missed something that was communicated once before.
Today is election day in Wisconsin: If you haven’t already, please take time to exercise your right and cast a ballot in today’s partisan primary election. To learn more, visit myvote.wi.gov.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Open Government recently issued a Fee Advisory to provide updated guidance regarding permissible fee practices under the state’s public records law. The Advisory comes in response to a recent increase in the number of inquiries from authorities and requesters alike. The DOJ document is available on MEUW’s website for those interested.
Randy Larson and Mark Zielsdorf joined MEUW on Aug. 8 as Electric Utility Training and Safety Coordinators. Both Randy and Mark come to MEUW with extensive experience that will allow them to hit the ground running. They are currently working together to prepare the training schedule for the remainder of 2018, including some sessions that could occur as early as next week. We will communicate more about the schedule as soon as it is finalized. We plan to use this weekly e-newsletter to provide information on seminars as they are scheduled. To read more about our new hires, please click here. If you have specific questions about MEUW’s safety services, please contact Mike Czuprynko, Manager of Safety Services, at (608) 478-2530.
Randy and Mark’s contact information can be found here.
Registration is now open for the Accounting and Customer Service Seminar: MEUW’s annual seminar for accounting and customer service staff is Tuesday, Sept. 25 in Wisconsin Dells. This year’s program includes sessions on relevant topics from presenters with Baker Tilly, Boardman & Clark, Focus on Energy and the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, among others. To learn more and to register, visit meuw.org.
Dates have been set for the next two-year cycle of MEUW’s popular and successful Management Training Program. The program provides continuing education to develop “home-grown” management personnel within Wisconsin’s public power utilities. Participants may start at any point in the six-session program, and MEUW provides recognition to those who complete all six sessions. The 2019-20 program will kick off with Session A – Communication, Time and Project Management – on Feb. 27, 2019, at the Hotel Marshfield. Other sessions are planned for June 5 and Oct. 16, 2019, and Feb. 26, June 3 and Oct. 14, 2020.
Industry News in Brief: We’ve all seen the news stories about the devastating wildfires affecting California. But did you know that California law holds public utilities “strictly liable” for damage from fires? Yes, even if a utility meets all of the safety and maintenance standards, if a tree limb outside of the right-of-way causes a fire, the utility (and its customers) are responsible for the costs. As wildfires become a year-round threat brought on by drought conditions, California lawmakers are debating changes to the long-standing law. It’s an interesting debate, especially for public power utilities that don’t have shareholders. By one estimate, damages caused by a single catastrophic wildfire could raise electric rates by as much as 25 percent.
Dates to Remember:
- Sept. 19, 2018: MEUW Management Training Program Reunion Golf Outing, Marshfield
- Sept. 20, 2018: MEUW Board of Directors’ Meeting
- Sept. 25, 2018: Annual Accounting and Customer Service Seminar, Wisconsin Dells
- Oct. 8 to 13, 2018: Public Power Week
- Oct. 24, 2018: Management Training Program Session F (Customer Service and Public Relations), Wisconsin Dells
- Jan. 16 to 18, 2019: Joint Superintendents’ Conference, Wisconsin Dells
- Feb. 27, 2019: Management Training Program Session A (Communication, Time and Project Management), Marshfield
- May 15 to 17, 2019: 90th Annual Conference, Lake Geneva
The August edition of Live Lines is available here.