Monmouth County Officials Vent Frustations Over JCP&L

Summit held in Tinton Falls for discussion of utility company's service during and after Hurricane Sandy

Officials from Monmouth County towns gathered at Tinton Falls Borough Hall on Monday afternoon to discuss and critique Jersey Central Power and Light's (JCP&L) service and communication during Hurricane Sandy.

Most officials in attendance agreed that JCP&L did not effectively communicate with their towns during the hurricane and that many were left without the information they needed to get out to residents.

"It was absolutely poor execution by JCP&L," Marlboro Mayor Jonathan Hornik said.

"A little anger and venting is exactly what JCP&L needs to hear," Long Branch Mayor Adam Schneider said.

The discussion was hosted by Tinton Falls Mayor Michael Skudera and Middletown Mayor Tony Fiore.

"The goal for today is not for this to become a gripe session," Fiore said. "We wanted to meet, get feedback and go through the proper channels to get this information out."

"This is a utility company that we do not control, so we want to think of what things we can do for the next time this happens," Skudera said.

Fiore outlined some ideas that he had come up with that he felt could improve JCP&L's communication with towns.

  • JCP&L's update calls with mayors should be regional and not statewide;
  • How outages are reported needs to be addressed;
  • A need for better communication between JCP&L and Verizon;
  • JCP&L needs a better understanding of each town's grid;
  • JCP&L needs to know which streets are a priority in town when outages are reported;
  • Towns needs to know what JCP&L's infrastructure improvements are.

The mayors and office of emergency management officials also met to have a round-table discussion about JCP&L, but that part of the meeting was not open to the public or media.

Holmdel Mayor Patrick Impreveduto said whatever decisions were made by the officials should be given to the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

"We need to have them expedite what we are trying to do," Impreveduto said.

Freeholder Tom Arnone agreed and said JCP&L must show its capital plan with the county and municipalities.            

"The JCP&L representatives we talked to had no answers for us," Arnone said.

herb caravella November 20, 2012 at 05:31 PM
what do you think the people in union beach are doing no homes left. yes you were without no power but still have a home.
Robin November 20, 2012 at 05:47 PM
If it was not for our Mayor Jarret Engel Colts neck would probably still be without power and water, he went above JCP&L to the dept of energy, he should not have to do that. A West Virginia Crew came to turn our power on and the guys on the crew said that people in New Jersey shoud be fuming over the debacle that JCPL created. They said they did not have the proper parts and inventory to repair the damage, knowing a hurricane was coming they failed to get the proper replacement parts. They said even when they get hit with huge snowstorms the longest outage is 72 hours not 10 days like us only to get it back for 1 day and then be down again for 3 more days.
SS November 21, 2012 at 03:16 PM
Instead of having a public "why we hate JCP&L" session, why not instead have very serious talks about alternatives to JCP&L? There are other options for towns, both in the form of other companies and going the municipal power route. This isn't the first time JCP&L has dropped the ball and it won't be the last. Their general apathy, combined with their total lack of maintenance on the infrastructure, means that we can all expect to be right back here again unless something drastic is done. And being a for-profit corporation the only thing JCP&L or FirstEnergy really cares about is money. Have to hit them where it hurts if you want anything to change.
Lloyd Gramadon November 22, 2012 at 03:16 AM
You people are all a bunch of cry babies. Get a generator and stop complaining.
Barzillai November 24, 2012 at 07:39 PM
Proliferation of internet and telephone municipal alert systems is the right idea, but this storm pointed out that circulating information on websites does no good in households with no power or internet connectivity. If we are going to stick with JCP&L, we need to do like police departments did long ago and put adequately empowered community advocates inside the organization to monitor what is going on and track progress in key areas. We can demand all we want from GPU, but if we don't have a feedback loop we won't know if they've done a damned thing until the next crisis. I was frustrated with the broad pronouncements on when service might be restored and the total lack of reporting from JCP&L on exactly what they were planning to restore when and where. I suspect they targeted the easiest places to restore so they could brag about large numbers of restored homes. That might be a wise idea, who knows, but there was no discussion of it if that was what they did. Corporations might be people in the eyes of the court, but they don't get cold and anxious and sick and frustrated. Only JCP&L customers get that privilege.


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