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Peter J. Tesei Defending Greenwich response to hazard

August 2, 2018

This is in response to the July 27 op-ed, “Feeling powerless trying to draw attention to hazard.”

The statement that there was “inaction of government” is disingenuous at best. It virtually overlooks the multiple responses from the Greenwich Police Department and its Dispatch Center, the Department of Public Works and the Office of the First Selectman to the resident’s reports of low-hanging wires.

To ensure the safety of both residents and motorists, there were numerous responses by those departments to the resident’s reports. Those responses included those departments notifying Cablevision/Altice/Optimum no less than five times that the low-hanging wires needed repairs.

This unfortunate situation highlights the concerns the town shares with the resident. It is important to note that local governments do not have any authority to regulate utilities and their service of customer concerns. That authority to oversee the operations of utilities — whether it be telephone, cable television or electricity, lies solely with the state, specifically with the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA).

The criticism lodged against the dedicated town employees who make citizen safety a top priority should be redirected to the management of and shareholders of the utilities that failed to respond in a timely fashion as well as to Gov. Dannel Malloy, who appoints those who serve on PURA.

This is an opportunity to perhaps review and update the oversight of utility operations and to mandate a timely, efficient level of response to customer concerns and needs.

Peter J. Tesei is first selectman of Greenwich.

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