FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE
I am one of thousands of New Jersey JCP&L customers still without power as a result of Hurricane Irene. My house draws water from a well, so no electricity means no water. Still, my wife and I are among the more fortunate because we have the resources to stay in hotels until the power is restored. I say “hotels” (plural) because we check into and out of a hotel every day. We do this because we can’t get a human being on the phone from JCP&L to give an estimated as to when we can reasonably expect to have power again. We check out hoping that power will be back that day. We’ve had to stay in different hotels because on two occasions, the hotel we checked out of in the morning was fully booked later that day. We would have stayed checked in if somebody from JCP&L would actually give us personal and not computer automated information.
I am sorry that some of you inferred from the article in the Star Ledger today, that I was “apologizing” for JCP&L. As a former prosecutor, I am always reluctant to reach conclusions before the evidence is gathered, and reviewed. As a former judge, and as a Commissioner in a quasi-judicial position, I may not make a determination until the evidence is in, and a record established. Nevertheless, I have expressed your feelings, and mine to Tony Alexander, President and CEO, First Energy Corp. (the parent company), and Don Lynch, President, JCP&L.
While my main interest, at this time, is seeing to it that electric service is restored to all residents as quickly as possible, we will investigate and review thoroughly the conduct of all utilities, and their parent companies during this crisis. This process will be noticed, and public. If adequate preparations were not made in advance of the storm, or adequate resources not dedicated to deal with its aftermath, we will determine that and hold the utility(ies) accountable.”