Macquarie cities, it’s time to make a decision

macquarie_logo_2638Maybe it’s just me, but I’m starting to tire of waiting for the cities who opted into Milestone 2 of the proposal from Macquarie to finally act. After missing the original August deadline to complete the report, there’s been almost dead silence. Nobody seems to want to talk about it, UTOPIA itself is kept in the dark, and aside from a draft that leaked months ago, there’s been absolutely nothing for public review. After the tumultuous ride that we’ve all been through on UTOPIA already, does this seem like a good way to win over the public trust?

I get that this is a very complex deal. With only half of the cities on board representing only slightly more than half of the network, it creates a lot of complexities. It’s also no small matter to try and re-work the costs to stay as low as possible for those who stayed in. No doubt the deal is being engineered to also try and entice in some of the cities who decided to pass.

But we’re past the point where the complexity of the deal justifies, well, much of anything. The cities need to stop discussing the minutiae to death and start accepting that they, in fact, are not in the position of power when it comes to negotiations. UTOPIA is a half-built network that’s barely about to cover its operating expenses. Even supporters of the network hate the way it’s been run, say nothing of people who still continue to try and find a way to kill the network no matter the cost. Macquarie got pretty well blindsided by the complex politics involved and the cities have a kind of fearful fatigue in discussing the issue any further when any position will draw wrath and ire from some vocal minority.

None of this justifies the complete and total lack of public discussion. In fact, it makes it worse. People want to know what’s going on. If you don’t tell them, someone (probably the Utah Taxpayers Association and their big donors Comcast and CenturyLink) will toss whatever speculation they want out there to see what sticks. By waiting to talk about anything until every little tiny detail is sewn up, Macquarie and the cities are leaving an opening to be derailed early and left constantly playing defense. This has basically been UTOPIA’s entire PR playbook as far back as I can remember and now the name is so toxic that everyone agrees it’ll have to die no matter what happens with Macquarie. That’s not exactly a winning move.

Macquarie and cities, start talking to us. The more you wait, the worse this looks.

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8 Responses to Macquarie cities, it’s time to make a decision

  1. Ronald D. Hunt says:

    They are likely waiting until after the primaries, so that any petitions against the deal end up on the more favorable November ballot.

    Their might be some heated debate with opt out cities, as a few of those cities will be exposed to legal consequences for their position of opting out, specifically in Cities who benefited from most of the original build out funded by all the cities*couch*Orem*cough*.

    I can only image that if the deal fell apart they would have said something, as their would be no reason not to, so I have to figure they are either waiting for the right moment to talk, or working a difficult snag.

    After a deal is completed, any city refusing of pay its share of the OPEX should have their portion of the network shutdown.

    • Anonymous says:

      There is a reason to remain silent, just not a good one. The deal is dead, but nobody has paid for stage two yet. It would have been paid for in the long term if the deal advanced. Now the bill hovers overhead, waiting to land as soon as the deal is declared dead.

      The cities prematurely signed up for stage two. Now they don’t want to pay for it. Thus the silence.

  2. Ronald D. Hunt says:

    Payment for that was already voted on by the cities, back when they agreed to stage two.

    Their is nothing their that is going upset anyone from the deal being declared dead, should if in fact that be the case.

    Random conspiracy theories shed no light on whats going on, Mr. Anon.

  3. Jim Smith says:

    Another 60 days have passed since this posting, and still no news. Do the remaining “participating cities” have any type of “drop dead” date, or could this lack of information just go on forever? Someday, somebody is going to have to make a decision……

  4. Jim Smith says:

    Will there ever be a resolution to this? Will the public ever hear from Macquarie again? Why are they so silent? Do they know their “plan” is dead and just do not want to admit it publicly?

    • Jesse says:

      My sources say it isn’t dead, but it’s moving at a snail’s pace. At this point, I would not be surprised to have details after after municipal elections.

  5. Ronald D. Hunt says:

    We probably won’t hear anything until after its to late to file a referendum petition in the primary elections next year. Would be my bet anyway.

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