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report from last nights Con Ed meeting www.greenburgh.dailyvoice.com
Release Date: November 20, 2012

The following is a summary of last nights meeting as reported in www.greenburgh.dailyvoice.com.  I am reaching out to the new commissions the Governor appointed advising them of specific recommendations we're making  and will also ask that the NYS Public Service Commission hold hearings in Greenburgh. Am also reaching out to federal, state and county lawmakers--suggesting a joint meeting with the PSC (which oversees Con Ed). Meeting should be held in Westchester. 
At the town level - we need to review our existing emergency plans and improve on them. We learned, for example, that it's difficult to communicate with residents when there is no electricity, no phone service. I'm suggesting that we pre- order lawn signs (similar to the signs candidates place around town). These signs could be placed around town in the event of emergencies with important information: location of shelters, places to congregate for more info (if one doesn't have electricity or phones), etc...
from www.greenburgh.dailyvoice.com
Sue Mirialakis,  of Greenburgh, said the Public Service Commission is under Con Edison's thumb. To punish Con Edison, the PSC needs to be unseated first, she said.Photo Credit: Samantha Kramer
GREENBURGH, N.Y. - Instead of playing the blame game, Greenburgh residents acknowledged that there are plenty of things citizens can do in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and Con Edison's slow power restorations for the future.
In the new citizens' committee founded by Town Supervisor Paul Feiner, Greenburgh residents offered their suggestions for both short- and long-term plans on how the town should react to the crisis that left some out of power for more than two weeks.
Those attending wrote their suggestions, which Feiner plans to send as a mass letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the Public Service Commission and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
Many town residents agreed that the long-term goal was to hold Con Edison accountable for their poor performance, while short-term needs included better communication within the town during an emergency.
New Castle Town Supervisor Susan Carpenter was among the roomful of attendees. She said that her town and others in Westchester County were all faced with the same problems.
"We needed more crews, and more crews sooner," Carpenter said. "That was the problem — they weren't there."
Feiner hopes that the collection of letters will urge the PSC to take punishable action against Con Edison.
But some attendees also pointed out that in the meantime, there are things residents can do by themselves. Danielle Goodman of Hastings-on-Hudson pointed out that people can make Con Edison pay directly by filling out Food Spoilage Claims on Con Edison's website.
And for those receiving incorrect estimates on their electric bills, Greenburgh resident Louis Crichlow urged residents to check your meters and call the company with the actual numbers.
"They will have to send a re-adjusted bill," Crichlow said. "That will hit their pocketbooks right away."
Many also agreed that the town needs a unified emergency plan. Some offered suggestions like creating an emergency hotline committee that can provide information during a crisis. Others pressed for more help for the elderly and disabled - neighborhood captains, for example, could be designated to go door to door to check in on those they know will need extra help during a storm.
Feiner said that just as citizens came together for the meeting, he wants to rally other town officials to meet with Con Edison and PSC representatives to make sure someone pays.
"We have to make sure this never happens again," Feiner said. "I think if we work hard, we can make this succeed."

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