A commentary on the post-Sandy power restoration problem in Fair Haven from former Mayor Michael Halfacre:
I would like to take a moment to comment on the frustration we all feel and the fact that this frustration is boiling over to blame for our local public officials.
I have some experience with power outages in Fair Haven. I can tell you that when you don’t have power, the mayor, council and administration don’t have power either. Of course they want power back. They are in constant contact with JCP&L.
But they don’t have access to any information about restoration efforts other than what JCP&L provides to them.
So lets be very clear, there is one and only one bad operator here, and it is JCP&L. They, and they only, have the ability to provide power to us. I can attest, from years of experience, that JCP&L not only is unable to effectively run a mass outage operation, but that they cover-up their inability to restore power by either outright lying to us or by obfuscating the truth with corporate double-speak so that nobody knows what they really said.
Remember, for days we were told that we would all be back up by Nov. 4. But we didn’t even see a truck for days after that. I can tell you that no amount of screaming moves JCP&L any faster. They simply do not care enough to provide the logistic support to the crews from other parts of the country to make the repairs.
That is why all those crews were seen sitting around — not because the mayor and council weren’t trying to get them out and working, but because JCP&L either wouldn’t or couldn’t tell them what to do. JCP&L can get away with this because they are utterly unaccountable.
Our efforts must be directed at JCP&L and the only thing that motivates them: their bottom line. Get the state law changed that governs their monopoly. Write the state legislature.
If you think the mayor or council of a 6,000-resident, (slightly more than) one- square-mile town can get First Energy — JCP&L’s parent company, which serves over 6,000,000 homes spread over 67,000 square miles from Ohio eastward and is #212 on the Fortune 500, and named one of the “10 worst companies” by a corporate watchdog — to come to Fair Haven quicker, you are mistaken.
Only profit motive can move this company.