February 18, 2011
The proposed rule would subject Board Members and employees of our 501(c)(12) not-for-profit water and sewer utility, a conduit borrower and "obligated person", to registration and regulation as municipal advisors. Our Board members, many of whom are retired, are elected by our customer-members to provide safe, reliable potable water and wastewater treatment, emphasizing responsible protection of our resources at the most effective cost to all members. They are not and do not hold themselves out to be financial or legal experts and, in fact, routinely hire credentialed experts to provide advice on such matters.
The registration requirements in this proposed rule would be a burden on the Board members and ratepayers of the utility while providing no additional benefit or service. The recordkeeping, testing, continuing education, and required disclosure of personal information would undoubtedly also discourage other qualified customer-members from applying to serve on the utility's Board of Directors.
I urge the Commission to redefine "municipal advisor" to exclude Board members and employees of conduit borrowers when conducting routine business for the entity they serve.