|This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Garland, Texas article.|
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Recent Clean-Up of Articles
I've decided to edit some sections I've originally added and update some and eliminate any unneeded facts.
For starters, I've updated the colleges and university section to more accurately reflect Richland College's satellite campus purpose.
I've changed the title of the "Recent Developments" to City Revival, since it seems to me that those developments are more accurately described in that way. That's the way it seems to be going with Downtown and North Garland respectively.
I've taken away Future Developments, since City Revival already seems to suggest what Future Developments would be about. If someone could offer more insight or a better title, for this section it would be great!
Also, for the economy, I think it should be noted that the Resistol Hat company be included in the article for Garland. It's an under appreciated Texas gem. I was wondering if someone could add something about that area's history during the war years. Maybe it's not relevant.
As for the old GP&L issue, I've taken away the biased facts that keep being placed in their. It should just be the bare facts. Nothing too positive or negative. I think it's better to just say that GP&L is municipally owned and does this and that along with a tidbit about its history and leave it at that.
The GP&L issue is addressed in the Utilities section using a verifiable source (newspaper article). The selection of statements that were presented in the History section had a clear derogatory implication in violation of Wikipedia:NPOV, and was also out-of-place in the History section. -- Mainstream Nerd 01:06, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
GP&L Prior Facts
It is inappropriate to delete facts without proper discussion....especially since the facts listed are supported by many verifiable sources. The Wikipedia "Neutral Point of View" policy states that articles should be written "representing fairly and without bias all significant views". Just because you do not like the facts does not mean that verifiable facts should be deleted since they represent a different point of view. The text in question is as follows:
As of April 2007, GPL cost data and consumer prices are not available to consumers, residents, or the general public. The city council reviews GPL data in secret meetings and does not make the data available. The Texas Public Utility Commission says GPL is unregulated. The United States Department of Energy says Texas electric utilities are unregulated by the US Government since Texas is the only state not connected to the national power grid. GPL claims to be non-profit, but they appear to be making hundreds of millions of dollars in profits that are unaccounted for. Texas Law [§402.902E] prohibits municipal electric utilities from using profits for any purpose other than to pay bonds; however, the Dallas County District Attorney's office says this law is unenforceable since the Texas Legislature did not provide any criminal or civil penalties for violation. According to the US Energy Information Administration statistics, GPL customers pay some of the highest rates for electricity in the United States.
The information and facts listed above are accurate. If you follow the link to the GP&L web site, you can view information in prior annual reports and their claim of being a "not for profit" organization. The article from the Dallas Morning News that you cite confirms that GP&L reports NET PROFITS that the city spends on other things. Unaudited data for 2006 reflect a $42 million net profit. If you follow the link to the US Department of Energy, you can view detailed spreadsheets of costs, revenue, and profits for electric energy producers in the US. If you follow the link provided for Texas Law §402.902E, you will see that municipalities are explicitly prohibited from spending profits on anything other than to finally pay off the bonds ($119 million per 2005 GP&L Annual Report). Please explain why you feel such facts should be deleted.
I have personally contacted and filed written complaints with the Dallas County District Attorney, Texas Attorney General, US Department of Justice, and the US Department of Energy but without meaningful resolution to the issue. A prosecutor in the Dallas County DA's office stated that although he agrees with my complaint, they cannot prosecute since the Texas legislature failed to attach criminal or civil penalties for violations of this law. I contacted and sent letters to Texas Representative Fred Hill and Texas Senator John Carona on this issue to correct the deficiency in Texas law.
I have been a resident of Garland for over 25 years and have no axe to grind other than stating the facts about the very high cost of electricity and GP&L "for profit" operation while claiming to be a "non-profit" entity. I am not employed by the city nor GP&L and have no other interest in this issue. It is my belief that these facts are useful for those who want to consider if they want to live in Garland. This information is also posted in other web forums to inform citizens regarding these facts.
In summary, I feel strongly that this point of view should be expressed in the Wikipedia article and have restored the text to the newly created utilities section. I do not object to moving the text from the history section. Readers should be allowed to see the facts and draw their own conclusions based on the data presented as required by the Wikipedia Neutral Point of View policy. It is my belief that Wikipedia policy is intended to require users to present only the facts and not editorial opinions or censored articles. -- User:Telecom_eng B.Sc., M.Sc. 05:00, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
Issues with the GP&L paragraph
Here's how I interpret the paragraph in question: "GP&L financially exploits its customers by using its non-regulated status, in collusion with the Garland city council, to make millions of dollars for Garland in violation of Texas law." (If this is not what you're trying to say, then I don't see how the statements in the paragraph are relevant.) Such a potentially defamatory view needs to be "attributed to a reliable published source" as explained in WP:AFAQ. It is not sufficient that the individual facts have attribution, but the argument as a whole needs attribution, per the "no original research" policy (WP:NOR):
Editors often make the mistake of thinking that if A is published by a reliable source, and B is published by a reliable source, then A and B can be joined together in an article in order to advance position C. However, this would be an example of a new synthesis of published material serving to advance a position, and as such it would constitute original research. "A and B, therefore C" is acceptable only if a reliable source has published this argument in relation to the topic of the article.
So I looked for such an article (hoping to find something like "Garland Residents Upset by GP&L's Illegal Exploitation"), and the closest I came up with was what I cited in the text I recently added. However, I did come across some information related to the individual statements in the paragraph:
- Unavailable cost/price data: Consumer prices for GP&L (at least for some levels of service) appear to be on their website. The GP&L budget, available on the city's website, looks pretty detailed to my untrained eye . The city's website also has two versions of a presentation discussing the impact on customer rates of their subsidizing the city's general fund .
- Secret meetings: Though a few GP&L topics are restricted to "closed-door" meetings, prior notices of those meetings are given, so "secret" is not a proper description for the meetings. Texas law specifically authorizes closed-door meetings for public utilities to discuss certain issues, GC 551.086 .
- Unregulated: GP&L is not unregulated, it is regulated by the City of Garland. I don't see the relevance of the US DOE fact, because I don't think the DOE regulates the rates of any public utilities.
- Prohibited use of profits: The statement is not an accurate summary of Texas law. There are a lot of "loopholes". The cited law (LCG 402.902e) applies only to a "utility system governed by a board of trustees" per LCG 402.121, which (I think) is different from a utility advisory board. Another statute covers all municipal utilities, GC 1502.058 , which closes with the phrase "until the debt secured by the revenue is finally paid." That is, bonds that have been issued on the basis of utility revenue must be paid off first. Even there, there is an exception clause (c) which says it doesn't apply if "provided by the proceedings authorizing the issuance of public securities", that is, if it was disclosed that revenue may be used for the general fund when the bonds were issued. The subsequent section, 1502.059, mentions conditions where "...a municipality and its officers and utility trustees may transfer to the municipality’s general fund and may use for general or special purposes revenue of any municipally owned utility system...". In short, municipal utilities can sometimes transfer revenues to the general fund, and in the absence of a public legal ruling on this complex issue, it could be libelous to imply in Wikipedia that GP&L is acting illegally.
- Highest rates: "In the US" is not a fair standard to judge if a particular company is overcharging, since average electricity prices vary widely by state, and even by region within a state. For the North Texas area, GP&L's residential rate of 11.62 cents per kWH is among the lowest . Even using a national comparison, there are 13 states with an average rate higher than 11.62 , which doesn't match with the phrase "some of the highest rates".
In summary, it's my judgment that the paragraph contains several individual statements that are misleading, and that the view presented by the paragraph as a whole needs to be attributed to a reputable published source. If these faults can't be corrected, removal is justified. -- Mainstream Nerd 01:25, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
GP&L issues deleted
I believe this article still needs to be cleaned up. While I agree that these may be facts, I think more should be clarified. Also it should not slant so much against it that it does not offer other counter points.
Both sides should be represented equally. Also the language previously and currently had to be cleaned up. It used too much opinionated and accusatory words, such as "Secret meetings" and also some of the information seemed as if taken directly from the website, excessively in favor of promoting GP&L services. I am not a fact check and quite frankly this discussion and the information on the GP&L were extremely wordy. An average reader would not read it. Also it was originally unorganized and I had to sub-categorize it. Even those may be unnecessarily sub-categorized.
In an article like the one previously on the Regulation issues of GP&L, I believe they should be watched for updates. Since I am not as familiar with the issue, I do not know how or what to add to it in order to keep it up to date. For an issue from 2007 where we even have a new mayor, it is outdated. For all I know, the policies may have changed.
Someone with more knowledge and ability to cut out the fat language should do so. I suppose I could try, but I'd like some guidance on this issue before we carry on with it and anymore damage is done. Pigman5 (talk) 08:11, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
GP&L issues undeleted
The facts are still current and explicit references for nearly each and every statement is provided. This section continues to be unjustifiably deleted by employees or agents of Garland Power and Light as evidenced by the IP addresses of those making the changes. This text and references are provided in accordance with the Wikipedia Neutral Point of View policy. Please do not delete facts for which you admit you have no knowledge. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Telecom eng (talk • contribs) 05:46, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
GP&L issues is being deleted for these reasons. Please Read
I said previously I did not read much into the links, but after reviewing Wikipedia policy and viewing each of the links, I believe it should be deleted for the following reasons:
First of all, beginning with the accuracy of the current date.Beginning an article in 2009 with
"As of August 2007, GPL cost data and consumer prices are not available to consumers, residents, or the general public. The GP&L 2006 Annual Report reflects a $41.8 million net income and cumulative total of $242.8 million in "retained earnings" from consumers."
Is not helpful. Also, if the article is going to claim that there are issues with reporting income and being unregulated, then why cite the reports from GP&L? Please cite a reputable news source with investigative reporting or more sources that discuss this. Please update the reports from 2006 and 2007 This information is dated. Also it does not specifically clear how this information is relevant. When I clicked the link it shows a sort of PR pamphlet report that anyone could assume is FOR GP&L and must support it.
Also, the citizens of Garland do not have much of a choice and linking to the sources that are in the article is not helpful when one has to sift through it. I for one was confused and would not be able to come up with a clear conclusion even after the citations were made in article.
If anyone wants to keep the article up to date they would have to update it with a new report. The recent addition it seems of John Carona also seem to indicate he is in support of protecting GP&L.
If people do in fact agree please discuss it elsewhere such as a consumer advocacy forum or write a letter to your senator. The article as is is not constructive and is loaded with TOO MUCH information. Let people that are interested and are responsible citzens to research the information on their own. Pigman5 (talk) 16:45, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
- From 3O First, I would remind all editors that Wikipedia is not a soapbox to attract attention to an issue. Second, if there are edits allegedly being made to GP&L content by GP&L IP addresses, this is a conflict of interest and needs to be raised at the conflict of interest notice board. Similarly, if parties to legal proceedings or advocates whose interests compete with those of Wikipedia's are making edits to articles related to these proceedings and interests, this is likewise a COI. Editors with COIs are encourage to declare these interests and refrain from directly editing content and only contribute to discussion.
- To the issue of the content itself, the passage in question seems to be non-neutral on its face unless these legal accusations (exploitative, non-regulated, collusion, violation of Texas law, etc.) have been found to be true in court. Otherwise, I would encourage editors to assert facts, not opinions, substantiate the facts and attribute these claims, and let the facts speak for themselves and the readers arrive at their own conclusion. Madcoverboy (talk) 20:31, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
Points of interest for NPOV Policy Regarding GP&L
This is another reason cause of deletion. See these other articles on Neutral Point of View regarding the article since they are relevant.
Specifically this point as quoted from Jimmy Wale's paraphrase:
Keep in mind that in determining proper weight we consider a viewpoint's prevalence in reliable sources, not its prevalence among Wikipedia editors. If you are able to prove something that few or none currently believe, Wikipedia is not the place to première such a proof. Once a proof has been presented and discussed elsewhere, however, it may be referenced.
- If a viewpoint is held by an extremely small (or vastly limited) minority, it does not belong in Wikipedia regardless of whether it is true or not and regardless of whether you can prove it or not, except perhaps in some ancillary article.
See also: Verifiability article, specifically this point:
Using GP&L's own report as a source IS NOT a reliable source for this article in this case because it makes the article seem unduely balanced
Self-published or questionable sources may be used as sources of information about themselves, especially in articles about themselves, without the requirement that they be published experts in the field, so long as: 1. the material is not unduly self-serving; 2. it does not involve claims about third parties; 3. it does not involve claims about events not directly related to the subject; 4. there is no reasonable doubt as to its authenticity; 5. the article is not based primarily on such sources.
Another point why this article was deleted was the fact of the impartial tone. It is clearly presenting one view and seems to only be citing sources and interpreting it to support that view. An example of this would be me citing issues that argue against A furniture manufacturing company and citing the company website to argue that they provide terrible service or dishonest because they do not mention a certain fact.
Impartial tone Wikipedia describes disputes. Wikipedia does not engage in disputes. A neutral characterization of disputes requires presenting viewpoints with a consistently impartial tone, otherwise articles end up as partisan commentaries even while presenting all relevant points of view. Even where a topic is presented in terms of facts rather than opinions, inappropriate tone can be introduced through the way in which facts are selected, presented, or organized. Neutral articles are written with a tone that provides an unbiased, accurate, and proportionate representation of all positions included in the article.
I will seek outside assistance for editing this article, but these are my reasons for deleting the article.
- The article can be rewritten, I can rewrite some areas and remove the not sourced content Antonio López (desu) 01:44, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
Request for Third Opinion on PIGMAN5's Continued Deletion of GP&L Content
- Talk:GP&L Issues. Disagreement about deleting significant point of view with facts supported by reputable public sources. 23:50, 9 April 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Telecom eng (talk • contribs)
3O - If I understand the dispute correctly, it is as to whether the information on GPL mentioned in the paragraphs further up this Talk page should be included. I note that it is not disputed that the individual facts are verified. The question is as to whether it would be appropriate to imply that there is something improper going on here, without a specific attribution to that effect. (For example, if a prosecution is currently underway, or a statement has been made by a pblic official about such a prosecution being required, then you could quote that fact, ideally with the arguments from both sides). I would agree that this is undue synthesis and therefore not appropriate for the article, regardless of whether or not the individual facts are correct. Furthermore, it would be improper for a person involved in attempting to take legal action against GPL to make edits to this page, as their conflict of interest would be difficult for them to retain a genuinely neutral point of view.Anaxial (talk) 12:56, 12 June 2009 (UTC)