Norwich Public Utilities Board of Commissioners & Sewer Authority By-Laws
Norwich Public Utilities Mission:
Norwich Public Utilities exists to make Norwich a better place to live, work and do business.
Norwich Public Utilities Vision:
We work together to deliver utility services in a way that reflects our passion for exceptional reliability and strong customer and community relationships. We know how vital our services are to each person, family, neighborhood, business, and community group we serve.
Norwich Public Utilities Values:
People – We work together with mutual respect and kindness. We are committed to build our skills, and combine them with the skills of others for top performance.
Reliability – We can be counted on everyday. We continually improve our services and infrastructure to find our customers the best deal possible.
Customer Focus – We all build strong one-on-one customer relationships. We give each customer what they want while protecting the needs of all customers and the community.
Norwich – We play a vital part in improving the quality of life in Norwich by contributing the city payment, people, resources, and leadership. We leave assets and the environment better than we found them for future generations.
- Satisfied customers
- Significant contribution to the city
- Exceptional reliability & emergency response
- Low rates
- Knowledgeable well-treated staff
- Clean environment
Purpose of the Norwich Public Utilities Board of Commissioners and Sewer Authority:
The Norwich Public Utilities Board of Commissioners and Sewer Authority (hereafter referred to as “Board”) represents the interests of the people of the City of Norwich in assuring NPU achieves results and its assets are protected and enhanced.
How the Board will operate:
The Board operating policies and practices are consistent with the Charter of the City of Norwich.
- Five commissioners are appointed by the Norwich City Council for staggered terms of five years.
- The Board elects a chairperson, vice-chairperson and secretary annually. The election shall be held at the first regular meeting of the board following the appointment of a new commissioner for a full term. Vacancies will be filled by election as they occur.
- NPU Board Chairmanship term limited to three consecutive one-year terms.
- The Board chairperson leads Board meetings and with the other commissioners ensures applicable policies and practices are followed.
- The Board meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month and as scheduled. Agendas for the meetings are distributed by the NPU General Manager by the Friday prior to each meeting.
- Board meetings adhere to Robert’s Rules of Order.
- All compensation, benefits and policies are approved by the affirmative vote of at least three Commissioners in public session and will not be delegated to an individual or other party.
- All Board meetings are open to the public other than Executive Sessions.
- The Board chooses one employee representative and one alternate from the Board to sit on the Connecticut Municipal Electrical Energy Cooperative (CMEEC) Board of Directors and appoints the General Manager and a staff member alternate.
- The Board chooses a spokesperson to address all Board matters with the public and the media.
- The Finance and Audit Subcommittee is a standing committee of the Board. This subcommittee is responsible for ensuring proper rate making, budgets and audits and reports to the full Board.
- The Business and Economic Development Subcommittee is a standing committee of the Board. This subcommittee identifies economic development opportunities and reports to the full Board.
- Board meetings are conducted in an efficient manner and focus on long term policy and strategy.
- New Board members are given an orientation to the Board by other commissioners, receive a copy of the Norwich Public Utilities Board of Commissioners and Sewer Authority By-Laws and Chapter XII of the Norwich City Charter, and are given an orientation of NPU facilities by the General Manager.
- The Board conducts annual retreats for Board development and/or strategic planning.
- Each commissioner shall be paid the sum of ten dollars for each meeting of the board actually attended by him/her, provided no such commissioner shall receive in any one year more than one hundred and fifty dollars for such attendance.
- Board members are reimbursed expenses for conferences and travel.
- The Board selects, appoints and supervises the NPU General Manager. The Board reviews and evaluates the General Manager, at least, annually and, the Board is responsible for compensation, benefit and professional development terms and/or adjustments, thereto.
- The Board provides fiscal oversight by reviewing, challenging and approving the following NPU policies, plans and documents:
- Mission, vision, values
- Strategic plans, policies and goals
- Budgets and annual business plans
- Union contracts
- New job descriptions
- New products and services
- Large expenditures that are not covered by the City’s procurement policy
- Rates and fees
- Non-payment and disconnect processes
- Enterprise liability insurance limits and risk
- Energy risk management and procurement processes
- The Board routinely monitors NPU performance and accepts accountability for that performance. The Board requires the following items be reported to them:
- Monthly financial statements
- Biannual budget reports
- Damage claims over $25k. All claims with the potential to reach the $200k deductible will be put on the Board agenda for discussion.
- Delinquent commercial accounts.
- Progress on major projects, plans and initiatives
- Other performance measures as agreed to with the General Manager
- The Board regularly communicates information to the ratepayers of the utilities on its value and performance.
- The Board strives for continual improvement and conducts a self-assessment and reviews its by-laws annually.
- Commissioners prepare for meetings by reading agendas and handouts prior to all meetings. They participate at each meeting with pertinent questions, comments and actions to achieve the Board’s purpose as stated above.
- Commissioners regularly attend monthly and specially scheduled Board meetings. The Board will comply with City attendance requirements.
- Commissioners demonstrate loyalty to NPU and the Board. They do not share confidential information outside of Board meetings.
- Commissioners understand the relationship between the NPU General Manager and his staff. They support the General Manager and his staff with daily operations.
- Commissioners’ actions enhance the image of NPU and the Board.
- Commissioners are familiar with the City of Norwich Ethics Ordinance. The Board will attend training and comply with City of Norwich Ethics requirements.
- Commissioners are familiar with the Norwich City Charter, Chapter XII, Section 4 and, that no action shall be taken by the Board except by affirmative vote of at least three Commissioners in public session.
Delegations to the General Manager
The Board delegates the following responsibilities to the NPU General Manager:
- Manages operations of NPU and all staff.
- Drafts all NPU policies and plans for Board review and approval.
- Drafts a summary of all union contracts for Board review and approval.
- Supports the Board in developing governance policies and in determining how organizational results will be achieved.
- Acts as spokesperson for NPU.
- Keeps the Board informed on the outcome of policy implementation, including achievement of goals and use of resources.
- Implements the business and strategic plans approved by the Board and reports regularly on progress.
- Provides performance monitoring data that permits the Board to determine if the organization is operating efficiently.
- Shall inform who will act in the General Manager’s place during absences.
- Drafts communication strategy for the ratepayers of the utility on its value and performance.
- The General Manager shall advise the Board if it is not in compliance with its own policies and rules. The Board shall also advise the General Manager of non-compliance so that the General Manager and the Board shall be jointly focused on compliance. At least annually, the Board’s attorney shall do a compliance audit of policy and rule compliance.
- Is the NPU liaison with public policy makers and legislators at Federal, State and Local levels of government.