Middletown's Mayor To Co-Host Mayors' Roundtable on JCP&L's Storm Response
Local mayors will unite Monday to draw up a comprehensive list of suggestions for the power company.
Several Monmouth County mayors have publicly vented their frustration with JCP&L's response to the widespread and lengthy power outages following Hurricane Sandy.
On Monday, they will channel that outrage into constructive use. Led by Middletown Mayor Tony Fiore and Tinton Falls mayor Michael Skudera, town leaders are going to meet at Tinton Falls Borough Hall to come up with a list of suggestions they plan to express to the power company.
"We will share some ideas from a mayor's perspective on what JCP&L needs to do to help customers without power, in a much more quicker and efficient manner," said Fiore. "We're going to give them an action plan."
One suggestion on the mayor's mind is to change the way the JCP&L gives daily updates during emergencies. Presently, municipal officials dial-in for an hourlong call, which includes a Q & A from everywhere in the state.
"I ask that it be regionally-based," he said. "Issues in eastern Monmouth are not the same issues in Hunterdon County, or Morris County," he said. Fiore would like to see JCP&L split the region into two calls, addressing mayors in the northwest and addressing mayors in Monmouth/Ocean county, so both can get more relevant information.
Another thing Fiore wants JCP&L to improve upon is how to better address a customer's lack of service. Fiore said customers must self-report their outages.
"If they can figure out if a customer hasn't paid a bill and shut the power off, then they can figure out if a customer has not power," he said. "I think that is quite absurd."
The mayor was asked if he had other ideas.
"I have 20 more," he said.
The mayors' forum will be held at noon on Monday at Tinton Falls Borough Hall, and replaces the Third Annual Snow Summit in which shared services, winter storm preparedness and advances in technology was discussed. Fiore said an invitation was extended to county freeholders. JCP&L officials were not expected at the meeting.
The meeting is not open to the public.