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Mayor Expresses Concerns About LIPA Deal With PSE&G

James Altadonna questions utility CFO at meeting

Massapequa Park Mayor James Altadonna recently expressed concerns about LIPA's deal with PSE&G, to the utility's Chief Financial Officer, and he says he's still waiting for answers.

Altadonna attended last week's Nassau County Village Officials Association meeting which featured an address by LIPA Chief Executive Michael Taunton.

The mayor said Taunton "would not address questions related to Hurricane or Superstorm Sandy because of pending litigation."

But Taunton did address the utility's agreement with New Jersey based PSE&G which will kick in next year.

PSE&G will run LIPA's day to to day operations on Jan. 1 of 2014, according to LIPA's website

LIPA says the agreement will improve their business model, improve transparency and facilitate better management.

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Altadonna said he had several questions about the transition, which he said will also include the the transfer of human resources, customer service and other office functions to PSE&G.

"I asked them how are we going to do this? Can you give me the number of people involved," the mayor said. "They couldn't answer."

Altadonna also asked about situations where a major storm hits both New York and New Jersey causing outages, how PSE&G would allocate their resources.

"They said they'd get back to me on that," said Altadonna, who added that he hadn't heard back from the utility in the week since the meeting.

"My feeling leaving this meeting is, unfortunately, it's more of the same," the mayor said. 

"The protocols for storm preparation haven't changed. They continue to take a macro approach. Until they take a micro approach and go through villages and towns and use their expertise and resources, we're going to have more of the same."

Taunton reportedly told the meeting that LIPA needs to improve storm response, according to the website This island Now, telling them “We want to become more transparent,” he said. “One of the things we learned from prior storms is we’ve done a poor job communicating.”

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