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State Rep. Yonts Asks for Transparency from TVA Meetings

yonts d 300MUHLENBERG COUNTY, Ky. (1/13/14) — State Rep. Brent Yonts recently wrote a letter to the president and CEO of Tennessee Valley Authority in regard to the recent decisions about retiring two coal-fired units at TVA's Paradise generating station.

Yonts has shared the letter with SurfKY and it is reprinted below:

Mr. Bill Johnson
TVA President and CEO
400 West Summit Hill Drive
Knoxville, Tennessee 37902

Dear Mr. Johnson:

    I want to thank you for the hospitality extended to me at your meeting in Oxford, Mississippi. The meeting was enlightening, but disappointing. I expected the outcome that was given but did not anticipate the process that it went through to get the vote that was taken.

    Having been in a legislative body for 17 years and having had many prior years of experience which local legislative bodies and training in organizational processes through school, I was flabbergasted to see the process that occurred at this meeting.

    A few things stand out:

1.    The long-standing members of the Board did not appear to know how to make a motion to amend.
2.    The Chair seemed to lose control of the meeting as to what was going on.
3.    Committee reporters were given based upon a script in a book which no one in the audience had any knowledge about or had seen. The members simply read a prepared motion.
4.    Committee reports were given without any known notice to the public as to when the committee meetings occurred. The Chair alluded to a meeting the day prior, and then quickly stated that one had not been held.
5.    There was no debate, no discussion, and no really meaningful action other than a vote based upon a motion in the script prepared by someone other than the members. The only dispute was over the fact that different members' manuals may have had different scripts in them.

Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, I request the following:

1.    A copy of the contents of the Board Members' manual utilized by them during the meeting held on November 14, 2013, in Oxford, Mississippi, as it pertains to everything relating to Paradise Steam Plan and other facilities in Alabama that were closed on the same day.
2.    A copy of the minutes of any committee meetings held prior to that meeting at a president's briefing, likely the day before, or any other prior Board meeting.
3.    A copy of any notice electronically sent or otherwise that was given to the public inviting them to participate in this briefing when the full body of TVA Board apparently met.
4.    A copy of the committee meeting minutes that were held apparently prior to the Board meeting in Oxford and any data presented pro and con as to the issue of shutting the two units at Paradise Steam Plant.

I do not make this request as any form of harassment, but as simply a matter of wanting to know what the processes the TVA Board goes through to make decisions. It was not evident at all at the meeting. The process is nontransparent.

Sincerely,
Brent Yonts
State Representative

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