Friday, November 4, 2011

Holland City Council Candidate Scott Troeger's Message to WMP Readers

I am proud to call Holland my home. I have lived and traveled throughout the world and chose to settle
in the community that welcomed my great-grandparents. With the exception of college and active duty
military service I have been an active member of my community since 1975.

It is easy to claim that you believe in cooperation between governments and/or business. However, I
can point to specific instances where I have demonstrated leadership in that arena:

1. As an Officer in the Michigan National Guard, I led when we assisted Tulip Time during parades
with traffic control and medical emergencies.
2. I was a Trustee of the Holland School Board when we finalized the relationship with the City of
Holland to create the joint fueling facility that has saved the taxpayers significant funds.
3. Also during my tenure as President of the School Board, we had the groundbreaking opportunity
to work with the entire staff of the District to make significant cuts in the budget. Furthermore,
we were able to open mid-contract bargaining sessions and negotiate reductions in pay for
everyone. This phenomenal cooperation allowed the District to maintain programs and staffing
that would have otherwise been cut.
4. As a member of one of the area Public Safety Teams I led the effort to raise (to date) more than
$10,000.00 to purchase a rescue boat and equipment. All of the funding came from business
organizations and no public dollars were spent. (see story in Holland Sentinel Archives dated
Nov. 25, 2003)

As a member of Holland’s City Council I would be especially conscious of the public trust in the
expenditure of funds. I have a particular sense of pride in the fact that I was on the Board during the
last major building program for Holland Public Schools. Major portions of that project were completed
not only early, but under budget. The monies saved allowed additional improvements to facilities not in
the original plan and benefited the students, staff and our community.

The current economic realities are causing hardship to the families of Holland and beyond. I believe we
must focus on:

1. JOBS. Every tool available must be used. Those tools include:
a. Tax abatements. Business development costs money. If Holland has the ability to
attract employment we must give industry the chance to save on their investments and
create well paying jobs.
b. Organization such as Lakeshore Advantage, Hedcor and the Chamber of Commerce.
These groups need support to seek and attract business and industry to Holland.
c. Reliable and affordable energy and water. Peter Garforth was quick to point out that
Holland has the unique ability to generate electricity at the municipal level. We need to
use this to our advantage. The BPW has an exceptional track record for reliability in its
power, water and wastewater treatment systems. Even after suffering major storms,

Holland recovered its utilities quickly.
d. Transportation of goods. Holland is located in an area with abundant transportation
options. We have easy access to road networks, air cargo possibilities, Great Lakes
shipping and even rail. We need to promote all of these advantages and continue to
improve on their accessibility.

2. PUBLIC SAFETY. Holland has cut deeply into our public safety services. The current term being
used is “minimal staffing”. Public safety is not satisfactory when conducted at minimal levels.
Options are available to provide “optimum staffing” and we must explore them.

The Professional Firefighters of Holland’s Department of Public Safety has endorsed my
candidacy because of my long term commitment and beliefs.

3. OUR ENERGY FUTURE. The Sustainability Committee has recommended a course of action and
an outline for Holland’s energy future. The plan needs to be adopted… soon.

Our community needs education and the opportunity to participate in implementation of the
program that will carry us for the next forty years. We need to remember that the plan must
adapt to changing technology and new opportunities as time passes.

Everyone needs to take ownership. This ownership includes citizens, business, educational
institutions, churches and government.

4. FILLING VACANCIES OF SENIOR CITY STAFF. The current leadership of full-time city staff has too
many “interim’s”. Filling these positions is critical for our future.

Qualifications for both City Manager and BPW General Manager have to include:


Superior fiscal responsibility skills.
A commitment to long term planning.
A collaborative spirit.
The ability to introduce innovative opportunities that will continue to make Holland a
preferred destination for well-paid jobs.

(See quote:

I believe my demonstrated commitment and proven record are a benefit to Holland. My understanding
of current issues provides me with the ability to join Holland’s City Council and immediately participate.

Mr. Troger can be found on Facebook HERE

***Regarding the Holland Sentinel saying he supported the gay rights measure before council:

"I do not know why the Sentinel reported me as being in favor of the ordinance.  The July article you referred to is in regard to the League of Women Voters forum that was held before the primary.  If you were to watch the tape of that forum, you would see that I outlined objections to it.  In fact, you might even notice that one or more of my competitors thanked me for the issues I brought out."

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Klomparens: "A New Voice for Holland City Council"

I have worked or lived in Holland, Michigan for nearly all my life. My ancestors came to Holland in 1847. As a retired educator, I have time to work for the citizens of this community.

If elected to city council, I pledge to speak up on your behalf. I have supported the following ideals from the get go: (1) at green energy policy, (2) limited tax abatements for companies and industry in the name of fairness, (3 support current levels of employment of city workers, (4) develop new language out lawing discrimination against the LGBT community, (5) control urban blight, but not at the expense of homeowner's rights, (6) use tax dollars with fiduciary responsibly, (7) I will listen to your ideas and viewpoints.

Sincerely, Wayne Klomparens -a new voice for Holland City Council

Wayne can be found on Facebook HERE


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Zylstra: Update on Holland Energy Plan

Update on the Holland Energy Plan

Please see previous Posts on the Holland Energy decision here and here.

On November 2, the Holland BPW will be holding an all-day session at the DoubleTree Hotel in Holland entitled Risk Analysis Process: Session 2. It is a follow up to the first session held back on September 28 by HDR Consultants that set out the perimeters (workbook here) for the subsequent sessions that the BPW has held as as part of what it calls P21decison, a relatively elaborate process whose stated goal is to go through approximately eight major options they've laid out as possible ways in which the BPW can supply the Holland area with its future energy needs. Because the November 2 Session will seek to fix the economic inputs and values, and thus be fairly determinative, it seems a good time to review what has happened up to now in anticipation of that meeting.

On October 17, the Holland Sustainability Committee voted to approve the recommendations of the Community Energy Plan  which it had spent the previous year working on, together with Garforth International. The recommendation was to approve Scenario B, which offered a wide variety of generation options and time schedules to provide for the next 40 years of Holland's energy future. This recommendation was sent to City Council, and is awaiting action.

On a parallel course, the Holland BPW has begun its P21decision process on September 28. It has its website, and the BPW is beginning the process of putting power points and videos of the presenters online, both on its own site and on Up to now, we've seen discussion of generation options, fuel types, regulations, and assorted topics such as dredging, district heating and thermal discharge into Lake Macatawa.

The two processes, Garforth and P21decision, definitely have different emphases. But they do agree on one central question, that is, what should be the very next step for Holland and which asset should we go with to power the next 5-10 years. And they both come up with the same possible three options:

1. Solid Fuel/Circulating Fluidized Bed - A 70 MW plant located at current JDY site, costing $270 million, and fueled by a mix of Petroleum Coke, Coal and Biomass. It will be able to support current snowmelt system as well as, with additional modifications, a district heating system. The CEP puts the levelized cost of electricity from this starting in 2016 option at $74.9 per MwH with no Greenhouse gas penalty, and $98.6 per MwH with one.

2. Combined Cycle Gas Turbines - Two LM2500 Combined Cycle turbines costing $105M for 70 MwH capacity (Garforth) or $90M for 55 MwH capacity (HDR/P21). It will be fueled with Natural Gas. It will be able to support current snowmelt system as well as, with additional modifications, a district heating system. The CEP puts the levelized cost of electricity from this option, starting in 2016, at $65.5 per MwH with no Greenhouse gas penalty, and $75.7 per MwH with one.

3. Combined Heat and Power Plant - One LM2500 Combined Cycle turbine costing $60M for 30 MwH capacity (Garforth) or $40M for 20 MwH capacity (HDR/P21). It will be fueled with Natural Gas. It will be able to support current snowmelt system as well as, with additional modifications, a district heating system. The CEP puts the levelized cost of electricity from this option, starting in 2016, at $81.1 per MwH with no Greenhouse gas penalty, and $91.9 per MwH with one.

The following table shows the Option-Benefit matrix as developed by HDR, and discussed at the first RAP session:

If this is supposed to be just a preliminary idea of how the final process is going to work, that's fine. But if these are the only real categories that are going have weight in the final decision, that seems problematic. There are at least two fairly important concerns that are not dealt with at all here.

One, there's no scoring of emissions, which is important when we talk about the high cost of externalities.  A new paper in the American Economic Review attempts to  estimate the cost imposed on society by air pollution, and allocate it across industries. The costs being calculated don’t include the long-run threat of climate change; they’re focused on measurable impacts of pollution on health and productivity, with the most important effects involving how pollutants — especially small particulates — affect human health, and use standard valuations on mortality and morbidity to turn these into dollars. The following table represents their findings as it relates to the present discussion:

 A lot of that backs up what the Garforth report details. In the case of the AER report, it estimates the the Gross Economic Damage (GED) costs of Coal at an additional $28 per MwH, and Natural Gas at an additional $8 per MwH. This is very consistent with the GHG penalty the Garforth report applies to the two different fuel sources, which assigned a $24 and $10 penalty respectively.

Secondly, what the matrix also doesn't do is score financial risk. The larger list of categories does talk about fixed and variable costs, and that underscores in some sense the idea that larger projects carry more downsides than smaller ones do, as well as the idea that both Coal and Natural Gas have very uncertain price forecasts. But I don't think they are robust enough to underscore how much downside financial risk there is in large scale public works projects that are built, in some sense, on speculation of future revenues from a future clientele that is not at all certain. There is a category entitled 'Capacity Market Revenue' that deals with selling excess energy, but that is scored as a pure positive, without a corresponding acknowledgement that having an excess built capacity represents a downside risk as well.

Hopefully, these two areas get fuller attention in the next RAP session; without a fuller accounting of emissions as a serious social cost and financial risk as a large element, its hard to say that the final analysis will be at all comprehensive.

Douglas Zylstra is a small business owner, Vice-Chair of the Ottawa County Democratic Party, and a contributor to West Michigan Politics. Connect with him on Facebook HERE