Friday, 16 November 2012 00:00
Something has to be done about the Long Island Power Authority! We are paying some of the highest power rates in the U.S. while LIPA risks our lives, limbs and homes with poor management and antiquated equipment!
Information has recently come to my attention that the catastrophic power outage we have suffered this week is due in a great part to disorganized executives and management at LIPA, and a poorly maintained infrastructure. It is a fact that many of the poles and much of the power equipment on Long Island hasn’t been replaced since the 1920s. The 1920s!
The status and danger of our outdated power equipment has been brought to the attention of LIPA heads time after time by a number of consultants, and they have chosen not to heed the warning that if the system isn’t upgraded, the storms will continue to have increasing catastrophic effects on our island.
I spoke with some of the outside-contracted electrical workers who explained that they have comprehensive experience with out-of-state assignments, and have worked with a number of other power companies. They said the norm is for the power authority to have a plan in place, everything is mapped out A to Z, and the trucks are dispatched immediately.
In contrast, when on assignment on Long Island, LIPA never has a plan, and the workers, find themselves sitting in their trucks for days before they are dispatched. To add insult to injury, LIPA refuses to provide any accommodations for the workers, they had been sleeping in their trucks for three-four days while waiting for the power authority to decide what to do.
As a counter to the horrendous treatment the contract workers receive, I am so pleased that Sea Cliff’s mayor, Bruce Kennedy offered the workers accommodations at the firehouse, that’s what every community should do across all of Long Island, if available.
How many more storms must we endure with LIPA officials who are not coherent enough to protect us during the worst of times, nor have they secured the power infrastructure to minimize outages? Is this more residents’ money squandered by so-called professionals who are looking out for pay increases and well-endowed retirement programs instead of the health and safety of the public they are hired to serve?
I think we have tolerated this dangerous business practice long enough, I urge everyone to write a letter to every public official and newspaper you know of to have LIPA investigated immediately, and called to account for the mishandling of our precious resources, and most importantly, for the loss of lives and homes caused by the deficient management of the Long Island Power Authority.
I am sure the governor will appreciate our support, as he has expressed that he is thoroughly disgusted with the operation of our utilities and is looking to change the whole system.
If you’re not a writer, a few sentences on a post card, an e-mail or telephone call to Albany will suffice. Or get a friend or family member to write for you.
Our government needs to know how we feel and that we won’t tolerate this kind of dangerous and inept management of our resources.