Rate is arbitrary
The idea of saying that our utility bill is made up of a base rate and a consumption (usage) rate flies in the face of logic and standard accounting practices.
Our water and sewer base rate is arbitrary and authoritarian. The sewer consumption rates are even worse, especially for seasonal single family homes, because they pay a fixed consumption fee even when they are not on the island as no sewage is generated.
Our base rate should be computed by adding up all fixed costs (as defined by GAAP rules) and dividing by the number of “effective connections.” An effective connection is defined as ‘one’ for water service and ‘one’ for sewer service. The maximum effective connection for a single family home, condominium unit, hotel room or any other space used for overnight stay is two. For all other spaces, the limit is the number of bathrooms except that separate male and female bathrooms in one space counts as one effective connection. This would give us a single fair, logical, defensible and annually computed base rate.
In addition to the base rate, there must be a variable rate (AKA consumption rate) based on annual budgeted costs allocated to a service, including personnel if allocated to one service or split across services. GAAP rules would apply here as well. A variable consumption rate would be computed annually for water service and for sewer service.
Since all potable water is metered the calculation is simple, i.e. gallons metered multiplied by the water consumption rate. If a single water meter serves multiple spaces, cost allocation is not MIU’s concern. All metered and unmetered bulk water consumption would have its water multiplier reduced by the percentage of non-potable mixed with potable water. For the first five years of this plan the bulk rate would be 66 percent of the water consumption rate.
In spaces where sewage is metered the calculation is again simple, i.e. gallons metered multiplied by the sewer consumption rate. If a single sewer meter serves multiple spaces, cost allocation is not MIU’s concern. For unmetered spaces without reuse water the multiplier would be 33 percent of the sewer rate multiplied by (water) gallons metered. For unmetered spaces with reuse water the multiplier would be 95 percent of the sewer rate multiplied by the (water) gallons metered.
This plan puts a logical basis into the makeup of MIU rates which is virtually non-existent today.
The people spoke ... but no one listened
Looks like our City Council has done it again!
After months of dialogue, 14 scheduled meetings and presentations to the public, countless hours of discussion, a $100,000 bridge design “contest,” a mail survey and an online poll to elicit the public’s opinion about bridge design options, the City Council finally selected a bridge design for the Smokehouse Bay bridge. However, the design that was selected was the public’s fourth choice out of the five designs up for consideration.
The results of the bridge design survey conducted by the city showed that the TY Lin design was the fourth favorite first choice among the 600-plus survey responders. The Public Works department then developed an overall value for each design, assigning a numerical value for first choice, second choice, etc. Even with this convoluted scoring system, the TY Lin design still ended up as the third choice design, placing behind the Volkert and TBE submissions.
Interestingly, both the Volkert and TBE designs do not include a prominent arch in their design, but the selected TY Lin design does. It is apparent that the people who took the time to look into this issue and voiced their opinion wanted a design that fits in with the overall “look” of Marco Island. The closet thing to an arch on the island is probably on the sign in front of McDonald’s.
The citizens of Marco Island have been told that our opinions count and what we have to say is important. Well, actions like this speak louder than those words which seem meaningless now. Why bother with all the time, money and discussion involved in presenting ideas and asking for opinions, when apparently, decisions are made based on other factors that do not include what the public wants?
Let’s hear it for nurses
This is a great time for honoring perioperative nurses everywhere. This year the theme for Perioperative Nurse Week is Reaching the Peak of Perioperative Practice: Safety, Quality, Collaboration.
In 1979, the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) House of Delegates approved a resolution that AORN designate a day each year to promote consumer education and enhance public knowledge regarding the role of the perioperative nurse. November 14, 1979 was designated as OR Nurse Day.
In 1990, OR Nurse Day became a week-long celebration which focused on educating the public about perioperative nurses’ role. OR Nurse Day is still celebrated on Nov. 14 and has been incorporated into the week.
In 2000, OR Nurse Week was changed to Perioperative Nurse Week to reflect the broad spectrum of patient care services provided to surgical patients by perioperative nurses.
Perioperative nursing is a specialized area of nursing practice. As a fundamental member of the surgical team, the perioperative registered nurse works in collaboration with other health care professionals which may include the surgeon, anesthesia provider, surgical assistant, and other assistive personnel. The perioperative registered nurse provides nursing care to surgical patients preoperatively, intra operatively, and postoperatively and often in the role as circulating registered nurse, Perioperative nursing requires a unique and highly-specialized skill set gained from specialized training and education. As a perioperative nurse, I am responsible for planning and directing all nursing care for patients about to undergo invasive surgical procedures, and I serve as the patient’s advocate while they are powerless to make their own decisions.
If you or someone you love had a surgical procedure, the perioperative RN was directly responsible for you or your loved one’s well-being throughout the operation. While all of the other well-qualified medical professionals are focused on their specific duty, the perioperative RN focuses on the patient. By employing their critical thinking, assessment, diagnosing, outcome identification, planning, and evaluation skills, the RN circulator directs the nursing care and coordinates activities of the surgical team for the benefit of the patient.
In 2009, perioperative nurses are deeply involved in health reform by promoting standardized data collection at the point of service to use for comparative effectiveness studies. This is a key mechanism to achieve patient safety and a perfect fit for our celebration of Perioperative Nurse Week: Reaching the Peak of Perioperative Practice: Safety, Quality, Collaboration.
Stefani Cohen RN, CNOR, RNFA