Wednesday, July 18, 2012

UPDATE: Leigh goes after Neumann, Utilities

Posted by on Wed, Jul 18, 2012 at 9:45 AM

Council member Tim Leigh might be having a little indigestion this morning after having to eat crow yesterday. He says in one of his "market reports" that he's now taken time to hear out David Neumann, the physicist who invented pollution control equipment for coal plants, and has changed his mind about the matter.

In his words:

Considering that over the past few days (some say) I’ve created a ruckus by asking legitimate questions surrounding the Colorado Springs Utilities, I thought it only fitting to end the day with some comments.

This morning, a couple of my new friends in the electric generation business, (each who have international credentialing), and I participated in a very special meeting with Dr. Dave Nuemann. The purpose of the meeting was to provide Dr. Neumann with an opportunity to showcase his evidence (to prove his stuff works); that he can remove noxious pollutants from coal plant emissions more effectively and less costly than convention.

In a word — Neumann is no Professor Harold Hill. . . and it’s possible he’s a reincarnated Profession Ned Brainard. . . (You’ll recall Professor Brainard invented Flubber and Flubber Gas in 1963 all to great acclaim (and profit) for his public/private partner, little Medfield College). And, frankly it turns-out, we can be thankful we have Neumann or Brainard (or pick a brilliant scientist) in our midst. And, I’ll concede based on the information I now have on hand, it appears his stuff works and it’s possible it could save us millions when compared to alternative scrubber systems.

Having said that, the conversation with regard to electric generation at CSU is just heating up and we need to be informed because this conversation is likely to change the way we view our public utility company for generations. If we fully utilize this great opportunity, we can rethink how we do utilities [or if we should even do utilities].

ON A PERSONAL NOTE: Unfortunately, sometimes it feels like this community has a fixation on tearing things and each other down; that we measure one’s success by another’s failure. I’d like to suggest a different model for this CSU conversation. Let’s have a robust community conversation where every legitimate question receives an unbiased answer. Let’s have a conversation that’s truly open, honest and transparent. Let’s have a conversation where we’re not shooting for personal gain but where we’re shooting for a city-wide victory.

I’ve learned that winning and losing doesn’t have to be zero sum. It’s possible, if we bring our “A” game to this grande conversation, we can reach a satisfactory accord and all receive the blue ribbon.

——————————-ORIGINAL POST TUES., JULY 17, 10:13 A.M.——————————————-

Not that this is news, but Colorado Springs City Council Tim Leigh is popping off again about the city's deal with Neumann Systems for pollution control equipment on Drake Power Plant, challenging the equipment's efficacy and the legitimacy of the company itself, not to mention the integrity of Utilities officials and past City Council members.

He's done this before, but this time, Neumann in response fired off a letter to the City Council, which will meet as the Utilities Board Wednesday to discuss the Drake project.

Here's Neumann's letter:

Colorado Springs Utilities

The letter was sparked by Leigh's rant in his so-called July 15 "market report" in which he asks a series of questions designed to undermine confidence in the Neumann technology. Leigh also makes it clear he supports removing Drake from the downtown area. Leigh is a real estate salesman.

Here's Leigh's comeback to the allegation that he stands to gain from the removal of Drake:

Neumann asserts by letter to that I have a financial interest in the outcome of the conversation regarding decommissioning Drake and defeating his technology. No statement could be further from the truth. I have asserted and continue to say, I have no preconceived notion of the outcome of the conversation surrounding Drake, Neumann and the provision of energy in Colorado Springs.

My role as a Board Member is to ask legitimate questions, making those responsible for operating a Billion Dollar Corporation accountable to its owners - the citizens. It’s that simple. I have no other agenda. And, Neumann could defeat my voice simply by answering: 1) Can he prove his stuff works? and, 2) Is there a legitimate chance we’ll make money on the deal, (especially given the high-risk nature of the venture?)

He follows up with another series of questions that suggest Springs Utilities has done something wrong, acted outside its authority or didn't think through the issue prior to executing the contract. So actually, Leigh is maligning not only Neumann but current and past Council members.

If we (CSU) have a bona-fide contract with Neumann, who is it with? What entity? Who owns the entity? Who controls the entity? Who signed the contract? Does contracting party have the authority to make a contract with CSU? What is the financial capability of the contractor to fulfill his obligation? Does the contracting party have any legal entanglements that would prevent the contractor’s fulfillment of the obligation?

The meeting begins at 1 p.m. Wednesday in the Plaza of the Rockies fifth-floor meeting room.

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