Freeholders 'Angry,' 'Sad, Dismayed' over Utilities' Sandy Response

Have something to share? Send a Letter to the Editor to natalie.davis@patch.com

To say that the utility companies have done an inadequate job of restoring service to the residents of Morris County would be a great understatement.

Are we angry? You bet we are!

But as your friends and neighbors, it is much more than that. Rather, we are sad, dismayed and frightened for our residents and those in other communities that have been impacted by the storm; especially those that have been displaced and forced to do without heat while combatting freezing temperatures and not being provided with any reliable answers to when their lives will be restored.

We are also frustrated about the lack of expedient and competent response by utility companies to our needs during this tragic storm event. Not being able to restore power within a few days is unacceptable. Not being able to restore power within 5–10 days is unconscionable.

Now we are learning that some residents may not have service restored until Thanksgiving. To us, that demonstrates an inability to meet the challenges faced by our residents during a major storm event and warrants a review to determine what needs to be done to avoid this kind of gap in service in the future.

To their credit, the utility companies did a better job of putting manpower on the ground than they did last year. However, it simply is not enough to meet the critical needs of our metropolitan area. Obviously, they are overwhelmed, but this does not justify the length of time it is taking to provide responsive solutions. While we acknowledge that the utility companies harbor no ill will or a lack of concern for their customers, the response to this storm and the ones preceding it demonstrates how unprepared they are when confronted with challenges outside of our normal comfort zone.

We live in extraordinarily tough times and these recent experiences shock us into realizing how vulnerable we are and how much we unwittingly rely on others to provide our basic needs. For these reasons, we are compelled to urge a re-examination of the process to ensure that this type of disconnect does not befall us again.

For those of you still without power, we have been in regular contact with the utility companies, participated in daily conference calls with Gov. Christie and members of his cabinet and the County Office of Emergency Management in an effort to be informed and to help our residents.

Lastly, we have repeatedly urged the restoration of power as quickly as possible, and to provide more accurate, timely information to the public.

God bless you all.

Ann Grossi, John Cesaro

Ann Grossi and John Cesaro are sitting members of the Morris County Select Board of Freeholders.

Par4theCourse November 14, 2012 at 02:06 PM
This is nice window dressing and I thank you for taking the time to write it but how about some specific details of your action plan as elected officials to mitigate the failure of the utility company's contingency plan in future storms?
Bob Crawford November 14, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Ann and John We appreciate the fact that you are sad and dismayed and angry as are many of the residents of Morris County. But unlike them you are also the leaders that were elected to make make sure that residents' safety and best interests are protected. You had plenty of time since Irene struck over a year ago to demonstrate that you understood the need to proactively respond to the lessons learned from that storm but you apparently failed to do that. So please stop with the commiserating and start with the leading. As Par4theCourse so correctly asks: what specifically does each one of you plan to do to ensure that the utility company has appropriate contingency plans in place to weather the next storm?
Steven Colpar November 14, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Excuse me doubters – but if any of you are familiar with the fine art of “stern finger wagging” – I can tell you Ms. Grossi and Mr. Cesaro are masters of this – it’s very well known. Large utilities and other behemoth entities tremble at the thought of being subject to their wrath. It’s true.
Steven Colpar November 14, 2012 at 06:34 PM
BTW - the title of the article says .... "Freeholders 'Angry,' 'Sad, Dismayed' over Utilities' Sandy Response" .... We've reduced the Freeholder Board to 2? See? They're making great strides toward smaller government already!
Natalie Davis (Editor) November 14, 2012 at 06:40 PM
Mr. Colpar: Nothing's there about any reduction of the board. It refers to the plural for freeholder—we are dealing with two of them here—but not to "all" the freeholders. Oh my, imagine the signature line for that! Lots of pixels would be needed!
Bob Crawford November 14, 2012 at 06:59 PM
Mr. Colpar Finger waggers? I think not. First and foremost they are finger testers. A stand is only taken after a finger is held up to determine which way the political winds are blowing. Then and only then does the righteous finger wagging begin.
Steven Colpar November 14, 2012 at 10:42 PM
Touche - Mr. Crawford. But extend..... then wag - they will. And these folks do both well.
Steven Colpar November 14, 2012 at 10:46 PM
Thank you for dashing my hopes Ms. Davis! When I only saw two names at the bottom of the article - I thought either 1) my favorite conservative stalwarts decided to speak for the whole board or 2) they had indeed reduced the size of county government. My Bad.
Bob Crawford November 14, 2012 at 11:17 PM
Mr Colpar No doubt But often times the finger they extend underscores the message they wag to their humble constituents, En garde!!
Steven Colpar November 14, 2012 at 11:51 PM
...And sometimes they're just pointing at people who look funny.
Carol M. November 15, 2012 at 12:50 PM
Please pardon me but I do believe it is imperative that we defer to our local experts in this area. Mr Crawford has mastered and near perfected the finger pointing, finger wagging like no other to be seen in our midst; Please respect the expertise here, it's a rare occasion to have an individual with such a unique and well developed talent willing to share his expertise with us when ever he imagines the need
David Comora November 15, 2012 at 01:27 PM
I was surprised to hear yesterday that we lost twice as many telephone poles as we did in both the October snow storm and ensuing Hurricane that followed last year, combined.
Peter Mangino November 19, 2012 at 01:25 AM
Politicking on a major disaster is the lowest of the lows. Grossing and Cesaro reached even lower then that. Shame on both of you.
Parsippany Taxpayer November 19, 2012 at 02:19 AM
Local government failed and JCP&L failed in this latest outage. May we all remember this and vote this incompetent bunch out come next election. Independent voter here and I saw complete incompetence in this recent extended outage.
Peter Mangino November 19, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Hey, Pete, ya know what's also pretty low? . . . using other people's email addresses to create accounts. Didn't you consider that there might be an actual person with the email address you used to sign up for this site? Well, there is. Please don't do it again. Thanks.


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