first_img Haile Selassie will look for their second win against Jonathan Grant. In the first contest, Haile Selassie scored a close 3-2 win at Barbican. Now, playing away, Haile Selassie will hunt maximum points to maintain the lead in Group D. Haile Selassie are on top with 18 points from seven games, closely followed by St Catherine (17) and Jonathan Grant (16) as the main contenders for places in the next stage. In Group E, Holy Trinity face Charlie Smith in another crucial game with both teams locked at the top on 15 points apiece. Waterford, who are in third position in the group on nine points, must win against Clan Carthy in order to stay in contention for a second-stage spot. High-flying Wolmer’s will top the group with another win against Camperdown, who they blanked 3-0 in the reverse. Wolmer’s lead Group F on maximum 21 points from seven games ahead of Camperdown on 13 points. The Vassell Reynolds-coached Wolmer’s have scored 26 goals and are yet to concede. St Jago High will look to move closer to a spot in the second round with a victory against Hydel at Spanish Town Prison Oval playing field. The Monk Street-based school lead in Group G on 16 points, ahead of Bridgeport (14) and Hydel (12) as the main contenders. – Greater Portmore vs Tarrant – St George’s College vs Tivoli Gardens – STATHS vs Vauxhall – Jamaica College vs Eltham – Norman Manley vs St Mary’s College – Denham Town vs Ascot – Kingston College vs Papine – Ardenne vs St Catherine – Jonathan Grant vs Haile Selassie – Meadowbrook vs Pembroke Hall – Clan Carthy vs Waterford – Charlie Smith vs Holy Trinity – Kingston Technical vs Edith Dalton James – Dunoon vs Jose Marti – Wolmer’s vs Camperdown – St Jago vs Hydel – Campion College vs Calabar – Cumberland vs Bridgeport Home teams are named first and all games start at 3:30 p.m. The ISSA-FLOW Manning Cup football competition is set to resume today, following a break because of threat from Hurricane Matthew. Confirmation arrived from ISSA’s Competitions Assistant Stephanie Baker. “The games that were originally scheduled for Monday and Tuesday will be played tomorrow (Wednesday),” Baker told The Gleaner yesterday. With the battles for spots in the next stage in high gear, there are some interesting match-ups on the card. A total of 16 teams will advance to the second stage, including the seven group winners and runners-up, as well as the two best third-place teams. St George’s College will look to continue their impressive run when they face lowly Tivoli Gardens at Winchester Park. The Neville Bell-coached ‘Georgians’ are highly fancied to score a big win against Tivoli. In the reverse fixture, St George’s won 2-0 at the Edward Seaga Sports Complex on September 15. A win for reigning Manning Cup champions Jamaica College against Eltham will cement, for the Old Hope Road school, an automatic spot from Group B. Kingston College (KC) will seek to maintain the lead when they tackle Papine High in Group C at the National Stadium. KC are on 19 points, just three ahead of Denham Town. KC who have scored 35 goals while conceding just once in seven games, are highly fancied for another win. Their attacking players include the competition’s top scorer Rashawn Mackison on 14 goals and Trayvon Reid, who has scored six times. Today’s games: Maximum pointslast_img read more

first_imgBuoyed by what he described as Harbour View’s rich history, newly appointed manager Oneal Johnson intends to hit the track running, and help move the former champions from their recent mid-table status and back on top of the league. The East Kingston-based club is one of the winningest teams in local top-flight football, with four Premier League titles – 2013, 2010, 2007 and 2000. They also have two Caribbean Football Union (CFU) titles (2007 and 2005), along with a host of other local knockout titles. However, Harbour View have not won a national title since 2013, and given that fact, Johnson comes in with one goal in mind. “[We are] concentrating on winning this Premier League,” he noted. “We are only focusing on winning the league, nothing else. Short term, it’s to see the team win. Harbour View has a rich history, and we are trying to bring back the club to where it used to be, on top of the league,” he outlined at last week’s Red Stripe Premier League press conference. He will work alongside General Manager Clyde Jureidini, head coach Ludlow Bernard, and assistants Ricardo ‘Bibi’ Gardner, Donald Stewart and Fabian Taylor. “Well; my role was created because the club thinks it needs to focus more on the Premier League, and Mr Jureidini is a very busy guy, so certain attention to detail and taking the pressure off him is my role,” Johnson explained. In an attempt to change/ improve the mid-table status of Harbour View, Johnson said the team signed two overseas players that will be available to the coaches soon, while putting together a strong young squad. “It’s a talented bunch. I’ve watched them in training, and they are working very hard. I’ve seen them putting in double shifts, and we motivate them and tell them they have the ability and talent, so they just need to go out there and execute,” he noted. When asked by The Gleaner, if Harbour View, known as one of the Premier League outfits to rotate coaches within the club’s walls, will stick with that model, Johnson said that’s a management decision. “I don’t think I can comment on that,” he stressed, while backing player-turned-assistant coach Gardner to come big in the future. “Well, he is developing as a coach day by day, and building a good rapport with the squad, and Coach Ludlow is there to help him.”last_img read more

first_imgAs one of the 17 young golfers to enter this year’s Jamaica Golf Association Juniors Series winners’ enclosure, Tajay Lobban is looking to transition to the national junior team, while continuing his development in the sport.In this, his third year of playing competitive golf, Lobban was recently crowned White Tees category winner with 345 points, while Luke Chin copped second with a score of 275, and Elric Li scored 150 for third.”I haven’t represented Jamaica in any age group as yet, but I am hoping to play for Jamaica this year,” he told The Gleaner in a recent interview.”Long term, I want to be a professional player. I am happy for the Sandals Foundation in Ocho Rios and coach Bill Williams for helping my development as a player so far,” he said.Playing in the boys’ under-14-15 category, Lobban played all five of the recent Jamaica Golf Association (JGA) series with three first-place finishes, one second, and a third.The 14-year-old also finished third in the fifth and final game of White Tees behind Luke Chin (77) and Kei Harris (81), scoring 87.Buoyed by those performances, the Ocho-Rios-based teen wants to make his mark when the national team is selected in March.”I am happy to put in the hard work and try to improve. I train once a week, and attend the Ocho Rios High School, but I need to work harder and get more improvement and better performances in,” he added.The teen, who has been playing the sport for three years, and who might be one of few golfers at his school, works alongside national men’s representative Wesley Brown and talented junior Romaine Evans with coach Bill Williams at the Sandals Foundation.Lobban said that he started the sport when his father asked him if he wanted to try it on a Saturday and said that he is really liking it now.last_img read more

first_imgNo matter where they are from, where they live, what their religion or political affiliation is, and however else each—to a certain extent—might share one or more difference with his fellow citizen, every Liberian should express his or her view and preference as a way of making the new Liberian Constitution his own.The Chairperson of the Constitutional Review Committee, (CRC) Cllr. Gloria Musu Scott, has appealed to Liberians to step up and say what they think of their country. That, she might have added, is the one sure way of Liberians coming close to finding out who they are, where they come from, what they want, where they hope to go, and how to get there as one people. The public’s civic education and consultations is aimed at giving every Liberian the opportunity to do just that—say what he or she wants to be reflected about Liberia in the Constitution.The CRC boss made her statements at the formal launch of the civic education and consultations held at the Monrovia Vocational Training Center (MVTC) campus on Saturday, the 1st of March 2014.This important part of the Constitution Review process will be assisted by a civic education project that is designed to help fill a (debilitating) incapacitating, weakening, devastating) void in our nation’s past; that void relates to the exclusion (leaving out) much of the contributions from Liberia’s tribal tradition, to the nation.That project will focus on bringing changes to national symbols of Liberia as will be suggested by this nation’s tribal people. Those symbols include the flag, the anthem, the motto, the seal, national awards, etc.What is selected is expected to help inform the CRC as far as infusing (putting into) the main document—the Constitution—all that is needed to help create unity and a feeling of oneness; it is hoped to spur a new sense of identity, for what is projected to become Edward Wilmot Blyden’s ‘new Liberian nation’—that embraces all of its people.Regrettably, not very many people showed up for the formal launch of the civic education and consultations on Saturday from Montserrado Counties’ District numbers 1 and 2,.During the program, the former Liberian Chief Justice, in simple English, urged Liberians to prioritize participating in the public consultation in order to reflect their thoughts and dreams.On behalf of the 6-member’s committee, she stressed the importance of the inclusiveness of all Liberians during the public and stakeholders consultations, and repeated the need to take the opportunity to be heard.“We left our air-conditioned offices and we are here to encourage you to tell us how the Constitution should be; we want you to know that wherever you are, we will reach you to hear what you have to say about your country; that way, we will find out what to put in the new Constitution for this country,” the CRC boss said.Cllr. Scott said they believe that public participation will show a nationally-owned Constitution because the proposed constitutional changes will be based on open debates and inputs from all our people.According to the brochure of the Committee, the CRC has divided its mandate into nine stages: civic education and outreach; public and stakeholder consultations; first draft of proposed amendments and report national constitutional conference; and submission of final draft of proposed amendment to the President.The other stages include: presentation of final draft to the Legislature; Legislative debate and approval; civic information of the final amendment and national referendum on the amendments to the Constitution. Earlier, the chairman on the subcommittee on Civic education and Media, Dr. Jasper S. Ndaborlor, said the primary goal of the constitutional review is to promote and strengthen national unity and reconciliation.He noted that the public consultation, which officially began over the weekend will be nationally-owned as a result of its openness to critical challenges.Madam Frances R. Greaves of the National Civil Society Council and Rev. Washington S. McGill of the National Union Party of Liberia on behalf of the political parties hailed the CRC for the Liberian Constitution review and urged Liberians to take the public consultation seriously.Mr. Nathaniel Fair of the Liberia Council of Churches also added his voice to encourage Liberians to be part of the new Constitution. Sheikh Akibu Sherif, the Secretary General of the National Muslim Council of Liberia (NMCL) spoke up as well.Sheikh Sherif said that the Council regrets its decision that the composition of CRC does not include Muslim scholars. However, the processes leading to the referendum will be open so that every Liberian might express his views get to  know what is happening and remain informed of each stage of the process.The CRC includes Cllr. Gloria Musu Scott – chairperson and members are Dr. D. Elwood Dunn; Rev. Dr. Jasper Samuel Ndaborlor, Soko V. Sackor, Rev. Kennedy G. Sandy and Madam Amelia Ward.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgThe death is announced of Deacon Daniel F. Tolbert, Sr., a Liberian businessman and younger brother of President William R. Tolbert, Jr.This sad event occurred on Friday, March 28, 2014 at his home in Sinkor, Monrovia.  He was 80.Daniel was born on December 17, 1934 to Zina Fahnbulleh, daughter of Momo Fahnbulleh and Konah Darblo of Grand Cape Mount County, and William R. Tolbert, Sr. of Montserrado County.He spent his early years in Bensonville where his mother taught him the value of hard work, and his father instilled in him the importance of education.Young Daniel visited and shared breakfast with his father every morning on his way to Bensonville Government School, where the seeds planted by his father took root. He excelled as a student learning that it was important to his parents, whom he strived to please, according to a family life sketch.In his early years Daniel lived with several family members, which imprinted upon him the value of his extended family.  Living with his maternal uncle Urias B. Freeman in Robertsport, Grand Cape Mount County, Daniel learned the value of duty and hard work.Later, he cultivated his love for God and self discipline while living with his eldest sister, Mrs. Florence Tolbert McClain, matriarch of the McClains, at Broad Street, Crown Hill in Monrovia.Daniel later lived with his elder brother Stephen A. Tolbert in Congo Town he  became exposed to the  world of business.He graduated from St. Patrick’s High School,  attended Prairie View University in Texas, United States of America. He later enetered Michigan State University, where he obtained a degree in Accounting.On returning to Liberia, he worked at the Mesurado Group of Companies, a major Liberian corporation started by his brother Stephen.  Daniel later started his own tax and accounting firm, Liberia Supply Corporation (LIBSCO) on Ashmun Street, Monrovia.He meanwhile studied law under the guidance of Councellor M. McDonald Perry at the Dukuly & Perry Law Firm and invested in real estate around Liberia. He followed that with the establishment of CAMER Shipping Lines, which still operates today in the Freeport of Monrovia.When events of April 12, 1980 took place, Daniel, like many prosperous Liberians at the time, suffered but he survived with his faith in God intact, and moved to the United States in 1982 where he focused on providing for his family, including many who had also been displaced.He invested in real estate in the USA and owned and operated a Baskin Robbins Ice Cream franchise, providing employment for his children and other family members.Deacon Daniel also made successful investments in Senegal and The Gambia until he finally returned home.One of his daughters, Annmarie Zina Tolbert,predeceased him.He leaves to mourn his loving and dedicated wife of 46 years, Mrs. Myrna R. Tolbert; his children, Beatrice Nuarhpa, Konah Tolbert-Karas, Daniel F. Tolbert Jr., Rosemarie S. Tolbert-Clinton, Fametta M. Tolbert- McKinney, Wilhelmina Tolbert-Banfield, and Luakena A. Tolbert; grandchildren, Myrna Aful, Zina Karas, Zaiya Karas, Aidan Banfield, Amisa Banfield, Daniel F. Tolbert III, Jayden Clinton, and Zahari Clinton; a sister, Kula Tolbert; a brother, Levi Tolbert, and a host of other relatives.Daniel was always present at church in Bensonville on Sundays, where he served as a member of the Deacon Board, and visited as many relatives as time permitted.The body will be removed from the Samuel A. Stryker Funeral Parlors on Thursday, April 10 at 4 o’clock p.m. and taken to  the Zion Praise Baptist Church, Bentol City, where wake keeping will take place from six to nine  o’clock p.m.The funeral service will take place on Friday, April 11, at 11 o’clock a.m. at the same church, followed immediately by internment.  A family spokesperson said all tributes, with the exception of the immediate  family, will be paid during the wake. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgHealth workers and residents are contending that the slum communities of Monrovia and other parts of Liberia where they live and work are highly vulnerable to the spread of the Ebola virus and should be urgently decongested.In several interviews with the Daily Observer in Monrovia Tuesday, health workers and residents expressed fear and apprehension about the grave danger posed by over crowdedness and congestion in the slums particularly during the prevailing Ebola crisis, pointing out that physical contact is one of the surest ways for people to be infected by the deadly Ebola virus.Practical strategies should be designed to begin decongesting slum communities they urged, adding that urban planners, health authorities, environmental experts, residents and other stake holders should begin holding discussions on how and where to relocate populations from overcrowded slums.“Prioritizing on the national development agenda the relocation of slum dwellers to environmentally friendly areas in Monrovia and other parts of Liberia should no longer be delayed, they emphasized adding that the construction of sustained medical facilities within slum communities should also  be included. “Our people are living in dehumanizing conditions that should claim the immediate attention of all Liberians in and out of the country,” health worker Samson Doelue declared.Another health worker, Martha B. Roberts, pointed out that the vulnerable slum dwellers also face other serious threats such as sea erosion and the lack of public sanitation facilities.Slum dwellers have over the years pleaded for basic but critical benefits such as better equipped health facilities, water and electricity, but their cries have for the most part, fallen on deaf ears.“I believe that their relocation to environmentally friendly areas is one of the best alternatives that would ease our vulnerability to water and air-borne diseases,” Madam Roberts maintained.When contacted in the largest slum community of West Point in central Monrovia, residents told the Daily Observer that the proposal advanced by some to relocate slum dwellers is indeed realistic and sustainable.“We are willing to relocate but, the initiative must be designed to suit the current housing conditions in Monrovia and its environs,” West Pointer Blamo Sonpon stressed.New locations for residents should be environmentally friendly, crime free and contain basic necessities that would enhance our livelihoods including  quality water systems, schools, healthcare facilities among others, said Mr. Sonpon.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgPresident Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has frankly declared that 2014 has so far been a very difficult year for the people and government of Liberia as a result of the numerous problems that the country continues to experience.The Liberian leader noted that since the turn of this year, Liberia has been going through difficult times. The country is facing a very serious budget shortfall, depreciation in the exchange rate, flooding as a result of climate change and manmade interventions. The sharp decline in the price of rubber has also taken a toll on the country’s economy by further upsetting the balance of trade.Worst of all the calamities that have befallen the nation, she declared, is the spread of the deadly Ebola virus, which has already claimed the lives of more than one hundred Liberians.Delivering her Independence Day Message at the 167th Independence ceremony at the Centennial Memorial Pavilion in Monrovia last Saturday, President Sirleaf said the Ebola virus had become a serious tragedy that continues to claim lives on a daily basis.The Daily Observer has reliably learned that latest victim one of Liberia’s most senior medical practitioners, Dr. Sam Brisbane, the chief internist at the John Fitzgerald Kennedy (JFK) Memorial hospital.  The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, during its latest update on July 20, 2014,  indicated that it had recorded 224 clinical cases of EVD, including 77 laboratory confirmations and 127 fatal cases. All of these cases are from six counties —  Lofa, Montserrado, Margibi, Bomi, Bong, and Nimba Counties.The latest information also has it that the virus is now in Grand Gedeh.“Through the 167 years of our existence, we have come against many challenges and have overcome them,” said President Sirleaf. “This is the proud history of our country.   We lay claim to that legacy today. We will fight against this deadly Ebola virus, not by blaming each other, but by coming together to defeat it. It is real.  It kills, but it can be prevented if we move in unison to resist it,” the President confidently declared.Although the country has faced three years of successive budget shortfalls since Minister Amara Konneh took over the Finance Ministry, this year’s seems to be the worst, as it led, in part, led to the cancellation of the Independence celebrations scheduled to take place in Sinoe and Grand Kru Counties.Public Works Minister, Dr. Antoinette Weeks has, on several occasions, complained that the Finance Ministry was not willing to disburse funds for the construction of the Sinoe roads, which was the greatest impediment to the hosting of the celebration. The deplorable condition of the roads which government was unable to rehabilitate, Dr. Weeks said, was the reason for the cancellation.President Sirleaf in her Independence Day Message, said, “We should have been marking this Anniversary in the southeastern counties of Sinoe and Grand Kru. However, we decided on a postponement to ensure that we are better prepared to give the best to our compatriots in Greenville and Barclayville, and the several other cities and communities, which are to benefit from the multiplying effects of hosting these celebrations.”She further stated, “At the same time, we use this platform to remind ourselves that the celebrations are scheduled to take place in Maryland, River Gee and Grand Gedeh in 2015; and in Rivercess, in 2016.  Let us all begin the preparations for those counties right now.”Liberian President said: “Fellow citizens, the hallmark of success of any nation is not the improvement in social and economic infrastructures; it is not in sound policies and law; it is in the love of country. This love must make us brave in times of troubles as well as compel us to reach out to each others in times of distress.” “We must come together as never before inspite of our political, religious and social persuasions. We must show a deep sense of nationalism. We must reach across borders and join our brothers and sisters in the other neighboring countries that are also affected to show a continuing common response,” the Liberian leader pleaded.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_img…teams dispatched to help situationMulti-disciplinary teams have been dispatched to the country’s bordering communities to assist in thwarting the likelihood of a measles outbreak in Guyana.Measles is an infectious viral disease, causing fever and rash, typically in children. The virus lives in the mucus of the nose and throat of an infected person. When someone with measles coughs, sneezes or talks, infected droplets spray into the air, where other people can inhale themThe influx of Venezuelans, coupled with free and open travel among Guyana, North and South America and the Caribbean further increases the country’s risk of importing measles, the Public Health Ministry said.In light of the current situation, the Health Ministry is urging all Guyanese to comply with public health regulations and ensure that all family members receive two doses of the measles vaccine.The teams, which were dispatched to border communities that are most at risk, comprise of officials from the Civil Defence Commission (CDC); Guyana Defence Force (GDF); the Ministry of Citizenship; the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH); the International Organisation on Migration (IOM); the Immigration Department of the Guyana Police Force (GPF); and the Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO).Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Officer, Dr Oneka Scott said the team has drafted an emergency plan outlining different components of the blueprint including risk communication, immunisation coverage, cold storage and International Health Regulations (IHR) to ensure Guyana remains “measles free”.The Ministry and PAHO/WHO have teamed up and over the last two years hiked vaccination coverage countrywide, targeting entire families and not limited to the country’s under-5 population in Regions One (Barima-Waini); Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni); Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) and Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo).The spike in vaccination and surveillance activities targets the country’s border communities since these are at higher risks of importing the disease.Some 98 countries reported an increase in cases of measles with 136,000 deaths according to WHO reports.In the Region of the Americas, where Guyana is geographically located, measles outbreak started in Venezuela, west of Guyana’s border, in July 2015. The ongoing social and economic hardships in Caracas, pushed many nationals to seek refuge in neighbouring countries such as Guyana to restart their lives.Between June 2017 and October 2018, some 7500 suspected cases of measles were reported in Venezuela. With thousands of Venezuelan refugees now flocking the Cooperative Republic, in 2017 the WHO declared an Emergency Response for Guyana following the outbreak of measles in Venezuela and a subsequent spread of this re-emerging disease to Brazil, another South American state.In March this year, Ukraine, the Philippines and Brazil were listed as the 3 leading global measles hotspots.In Ukraine, 11 people have died and more than 30,500 have been infected with the infectious ailment. In the Philippines, 315 people died, and there were 21,396 cases of measles reported during the first three months of 2019. In neighbouring Brazil, 12 people died and some 10,300 confirmed measles cases have been reported so far this year.Governments around the world and international media earlier in the year warned of a potential worldwide measles outbreak, and a growing number of confirmed cases has been reported in Canada, England and the wider European continent.In the USA, between January 1 and May 31, 2019, there were 981 confirmed cases of measles in 26 States.In the Caribbean, the islands of Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, and St Lucia have all reported confirmed cases of imported measles.last_img read more

first_img– accused of exceeding authorityJust over three weeks after being appointed Public Service Minister, Tabitha Sarabo-Halley reportedly sent the entire personnel department and the account packing on Friday.Public Service Minister Tabitha Sarboo-HalleyAccording to information received, the Minister claimed that the department is moving in a different direction and that the services of the old staff will no longer be required.A source related that the Minister does not have the authority to dismiss any staff member.“As far as I know, a Minister does not have the authority to dismiss any staff… it is [the] duty of the Permanent Secretary to do so. To make matters worse, she had the police escort them out of the building at Lot 164 Waterloo Street as if they were criminals,” the source recalled.Some of these staff members, he noted, have been working at the Ministry for the past fifteen years. The source posited that the other staff members, as well as those sent packing, were in tears as they were being escorted out of the building.“The Minister then sent the driver into the accounts department to collect money and changed the locks at the Department of Public Service and only she has the key to the building and all the offices.”It was reported that Minister Sarabo-Halley had been requesting the files of all staff members and making judgments based on the information she gathered from the files.The source added that the Minister seems to be confused about her role as a Minister and in only three weeks, she has taken control and oversight of every aspect of the day-to-day running of the DPS.“The Minister is not supposed to be involved in that,” the source said.Minister Sarabo-Halley stated that she did not wish to offer a comment on the matter at the time when contacted.last_img read more

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat KingsIn the contentious atmosphere, the union had bombarded the DWP with grievances and unfair labor claims that slowed green-energy projects and critical water pipeline reconstruction. But Nahai, who was nominated for the job by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, is expected to be more willing to negotiate with D’Arcy and already has met with him to seek a deal on the most controversial pending issue – contracting out infrastructure work for the utility’s $1billion power reliability program. Deaton, who retired last week from the DWP, said that as Nahai takes on the general manager job, he needs to understand all the consequences of each decision on employees and ratepayers. “Do the best for the citizens, and it’s important to do the best for the employees as well,” he said. “At the end of the day, he is in the unenviable position of having to be the judge of both of those.” Nahai, a real estate attorney who has served two years on the DWP board, declined to comment for this story. But he has said previously that he wants to have a close, productive relationship with D’Arcy. “I certainly hope the unions, including IBEW, would view me as a person they could work with,” he said. D’Arcy did not return phone calls. IBEW Local 18 is considered Los Angeles’ most powerful union, able to disrupt water and power service with a strike. Its members have the richest civilian city employee contract, and they earn nearly 20percent more than the average city employee. The IBEW contract can be reopened next year to reconsider wages, but outsourcing will likely be the first big issue for Nahai in the interim general manager post while he awaits confirmation. Nahai will shepherd a five-year, $1 billion program to replace and repair the city’s aging power system and hire 337 employees to do the work. The City Council now is considering raising electricity rates by 9percent over the next two years to help pay for the power system program. DWP also has proposed raising water rates by 6percent over the next two years. But training programs for linemen, splicers and other specialized employees needed to upgrade the power system take three to four years. And the graduation rate is just 50percent. So DWP leaders have said they must hire outside workers to get the work started. “We cannot come back in a year or two or four and say because of delays we don’t have the money to do the construction we said we were going to do,” said Nick Patsaouras, president of the Board of Water and Power Commissioners. “I want to make sure if outsourcing is needed to deliver our promises to our ratepayers, we’re going to outsource.” Patsaouras said a meeting last week with D’Arcy and Nahai went well and the union agreed in concept to hiring some outside workers until the DWP hires its own specialized employees. But the utility’s desire to use private crews has been a contentious issue. The union fought the DWP’s efforts to hire contractors to build large water pipelines, which utility managers said would be cheaper and faster than hiring and using in-house crews. As board president, Nahai helped negotiate a compromise that would let the DWP contract out most water trunk line projects if the utility agreed to hire a third, 20-person in-house crew. The trunk line project was the subject of one of 35 grievances filed by the union that were set for arbitration during 2005 through the middle of this year when the union and DWP management clashed. The union also filed six unfair labor actions against the department. During the previous two years, there had only been one arbitration and no unfair labor actions. Observers said the clash was part ideological and part personality. Ron Deaton was appointed by former Mayor James Hahn at the end of 2004 at a time when the DWP was mired in scandal, including an investigation into inflated billings by a public-relations contractor. As the city’s longtime chief legislative analyst, Deaton was a powerful City Hall insider who was seen as a strong personality that could stand up to D’Arcy, whose own influence within the utility had grown stronger in a DWP leadership vacuum. “We sent a strong negotiator over there, and he faced an uphill battle. Mr. Nahai faces the same problems,” said Councilman Greig Smith, who said D’Arcy “scares a lot of people around here.” Patsaouras has also raised concern about D’Arcy and the union’s influence. “They have to have the last word. Every time we sneeze, we have to get their blessing. You can’t run a $4billion operation if every time you want to do something, you have to kiss the pope,” Patsaouras said. But Deputy Mayor Nancy Sutley said Nahai has the strength and tenacity to stand up to D’Arcy and others. “He will be fair and open and keep the lines of communication open,” she said. And City Council President Eric Garcetti said Nahai is tough when he needs to be. “I have never seen him as a lackey to either side,” he said. kerry.cavanaugh@dailynews.com 213-978-0390160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! When H. David Nahai takes the helm today at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, expectations are high that he will improve significantly the rough relations with the powerful union boss who represents more than 90 percent of the utility’s employees. Still, inside City Hall a number of city leaders are wondering whether Nahai will be able to stand up to the powerful union and might compromise too much in the name of labor peace. “The labor leadership at the DWP is exceedingly strong and powerful and is absolutely a major key player in how that department is run. There’s no argument about that,” City Controller Laura Chick said. “I would want to be reassured to know that the DWP is run by strong management that works closely with labor, but not run by labor.” Over the past two years, Brian D’Arcy – head of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 18 – frequently had battled with former general manager Ronald Deaton, who had tried to reduce the union’s influence and often refused to meet with D’Arcy. last_img read more