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Six Greenburgh Residents Without Power Monday; Citizens Commission Forming

Town Supervisor Paul Feiner is holding a citizens committee meeting on Nov. 19 to speak out against Con Ed and lobby the NYS Public Service Commission.

Con Ed advised me that there were six customers out this morning (in Greenburgh.) Con Ed anticipates that they will be back today unless there is severe damage.  If you're still out of power, please email me at pfeiner@greenburghny.com today.

Now that the lights are on in almost all Greenburgh homes, the real work starts. We MUST demand changes in the approach that Con Ed uses when there are power outages. Our region has had at least one major outage a year for a few years.  We must make sure that the nightmare which our communities experienced after Hurricane Sandy NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN.

I am forming a citizens committee to lobby the NYS Public Service Commission and other officials to force changes in the processes used. Our first meeting, open to anyone who experienced a power outage, will be held on Monday, November 19 at 7:00 p.m.  The meeting will be held at Greenburgh Town Hall, 177 Hillside Ave., Greenburgh.  If you would like to join the committee please e mail me at pfeiner@greenburghny.com.

During the past week I have asked Con Ed customers to provide me with a list of suggestions that could be forwarded to the NYS Public Service Commission and officials. I will summarize the suggestions later this week and will post it on the town website. Your additional suggestions and recommendations are welcome.

Among the suggestions to be aggressively pushed for:

* In the event of power outages Con Ed should work around the clock–24 hours a day. During this storm they stopped working in the early evening. The company claims that it's dangerous to work in the evening - since out of state crews are not familiar with the territory. But–they have sent crews to work during the early evening hours, when it's dark. What's the difference?

* The PSC should direct Con Ed to hire licensed electricians to work with the company to restore power quickly. There are many licensed electricians who would be delighted to help out–but who have been told that they can't assist Con Ed.

* The PSC should investigate when Con Ed called in out of state crews. The hurricane was predicted. The crews did not arrive until days after the storm. Should Con Ed have called in out of state crews earlier? Were they prepared?

 * Our committee should ask the PSC to investigate how Con Ed deals with the frail, elderly and disabled when there are emergencies. Many people with serious illnesses advised me that Con Ed gave them no help during the storm. I received calls from family members who have spouses who depend on oxygen, some who were bedridden, had surgeries, etc. Some assisted living facilities and nursing homes helped out during the storm.

  * Con Ed should be required to reimburse families for expenses for prolonged outages. The PSC should change state law and provide residents who had significant losses, expenses with reimbursement.

  * Local governments should be provided with a daily report - how many crews are assigned–what streets they will be sent to–and at the end of the day we should be provided with a progress report.

  * Con Ed should publicize their priority system after hearings are held. Some neighborhoods have to be last. If everyone knew the reasons for the priority system and if the priority system makes sense - people would be more understanding of the reasons.

I hope to see you at the meeting on NOVEMBER 19 at  7:00 p.m.  ShopRite has offered to donate food for a reception for participants of the meeting. An informal reception will begin at 6:30 p.m.

hal samis November 12, 2012 at 05:10 PM
And what was Feiner, himself, saying to Con Ed before the predicted hurricane? Here's another Feiner opportunity to recruit citizens to do the work that elected officials should be doing -- not work that only yields PR. Does anyone believe that citizens are not "upset" or concerned? And that the only way they can express their unhappiness is by forming a committee? The history of such committees in Greenburgh is that they go nowhere and do nothing but produce a report. The history of reports in Feinerland, whether they are reports from citizens or paid product obtained from Consultants, is that they go nowhere. The only difference is that those reports from citizens (spelled 'voters for Feiner' and their families spelled 'even more voters for Feiner') is that citizens get the coveted "Certificate of Appreciation" which is worth a penny on ebay. Meanwhile Feiner stops short of forming citizens groups to discuss the growing cost of litigation in Greenburgh, a citizens group to discuss how to market Town controlled real estate (Frank's, WESTHelp, Tennis Courts) a citizens group to discuss "Green Initiatives"...the absence of these entities allows Feiner to put his foot in his mouth on a regular schedule. Any area that the Greenburgh Town Supervisor actually has some control over is an area that Feiner sees as too important to leave to others. That's why we see citizens committees to harness Con Ed, find uses for the TZ bridge or consolidating Fire Districts. Hal Samis
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