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Testimony - Porter, Dept. of Public Service

Testimony - Porter, Dept. of Public Service

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Published by Philip Tortora
Testimony by Jim Porter, a senior official at the Department of Public Service
Testimony by Jim Porter, a senior official at the Department of Public Service

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Published by: Philip Tortora on Jul 08, 2014
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07/08/2014

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STATE
OF
VERMONTPUBLIC
SERVICE
BOARD
Petition of
City
of
Burlington
dlbla
Burlington
Telecom,
for
a
certificate of
public
good
to
operate
a
cable
television
system
in
the
City
of
Burlington, Vermont
Summary)))
)
Docket
No.
7044
DIRECT
TESTIMOIIY
OF
JIM
PORTER
ON
BEHALF
OF THE,
VERMONT
DEPARTMENT
OF
PUBLIC
SERVICE
JULY
3,2014
Mr.
Porter
testifies
in
support
of
the
Petition frled
with
the Board
on
March
28,
20l4,and
explains
why
the Board should
find
that the
Citibank
Settlement
and
the
Bridge
Lease
Financing
promote the
public
good
and
therefore be approved.
Mr.
Porter
further
recommends that
Condition
17
of
the CPG
be amended
and
that
the Board approve the proposed Assurance
of
Discontinuance that
will fully
resolve
all
outstanding CPG
violations.
 
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a.
A.
a
A
Department of Public
ServiceJim
Porter,
Witness
Docket
No.
7044
IulY
3, 2014Page
I
of12
Direct Testimony
of
Jim Porter
Please state
your
name and
title.
My
name
is
Jim
Porter.
I
am
the Senior
Policy
and
Telecommunications
Directorfor
the
Vermont
Department
of Public
Service
( Department ). My
business address
is
112 State Street,
Montpelier, Vermont.
Please
describe
your
professional background
and experience.
I
have
worked for
the Department
since
May of
2005 where
I
served
as
a
staff
attorney
until
February
of
2011
at
which time
I
became
the
Director
of
Telecommunications.
In
March
of
2013,I
became
the
Senior
Policy
and
Telecommunications
Director.
Prior to my
employment
with
the Department,
I
was
in
private practice.
a.
Have you
previously testified
bef,ore
the
Vermont Public
Service
Board?
A.
Yes.
I
have
testified
in
Docket
No.
7884..Please describe
the purpose
and
the structure
of your
testimony.The purpose
of my testimony
is
to
present
the recommendations
of
theDepartment
relating to
the
Petition of
the
City of
Burlington
to:(1)
Approve
and
Authorize Burlington to
take
such
action
as
necessary
for
the
City
of
Burlington to implement
the terms
of
a
mediated settlement
agreement
(the
Citibank
Settlement )
reached
in
Citibank, N.A.
v.
City
of
Burlington
et
al.,
Docket
No. 2:11-cv-
214
(D.
Vt.)
(the
Citibank Lawsuit )
to
resolve
all
claims
associated
with Burlington
Telecom's
lease
financing
with
Citibank
(the
Citibank
Lease
Agreement )
and
the
Citibank
Action;
a
A
 
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2627282930
a
A
Department
of
Public
Service
Jim Porter,
Witness
DocketNo.7044
J'tlY
3,2014
Page2
of
12
(2) Approve
and
authorize
Burlington
pursuant
to
30
V.S.A.
$$ 109
aîd232
to
enter
into
a
$6
million
dollar,
five
year
bridge
lease
financing
transaction (the
Bridge
Lease
Financing )
with
a
special pufpose
lease
finance
entity to
be
formed,
with
RaymondPecor,
III,
as
the managing member
( Lessot ), in
order
to
effectuate the
Citibank
Settlement;
(3)
Amend the
City's
Certificate of Public
Good
( CPG ),
pursuant
to
30
V.S.A.
$
231'
to reflect
Lessor's
ownership of
certain
of
BT's
assets,
but
subjecting
Lessor
to
de
minimis regulation;(4) Amend Condition
No.
17
of
Burlington's
CPG,
as
further
specified herein;
and
(5)
Approve
the Assurance
of
Discontinuance
( AOD )
to
be entered
into
between
the
City
and
the Department pursuant
to
30
V.S.A.
$
509(c),
which
AOD
is
attached hereto
as
Exhibit
Joint-l,
and
to
issue an
order
finding
that
with
the actions
outlined in
the
AOD,BT
is no longer
in
violation
of its
CPG conditions.
Please
summarize the
Department's
conclusions
and
recommendations.
On
September 13,
2005,the Board
granted
the
City
of Burlington
( City )
d/b/a
Builington
Telecom
( 8T )
a
CPG
to own
and operate
a
cable
television
system
within
the
City.
On
August
9,2007,
the
City
entered
into
a
Lease/Purchase
Agreement
which
agreement
was subsequently
assigned
to CitiCapital
Municipal
Finance,
now Citibank,
N.A.
( Citibank
Lease
Agreement ) to
finance $33.5
million
for
the
build
out
of
the
BT
system. In addition
to
this
$33.5
million,
BT
used
approximately
$16.9
million
from
the
City's
general
fund for
build
out
of
the
BT
system
between
August
of
2007
and
October
of
2009
which
use
was
in
violation
of
the
Burlinglon City
Charter
and
BT's
CPG.
OnOctober
8,
2010, the Board
issued an
order in
which
it
found that
BT
had
violatedCondition
Nos.
2,
17,56
and
60
of its
CPG.
On
September
2,201I,
Citibank,
N.A.
initiated
the
Citibank Lawsuit in
United
States
District
Court for
the
District
of Vermont,
seeking $33.5
million
plus
costs and
punitive
damages. On
January
29,2014,
the
City

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