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HomeNewsArchivesWhile Attorneys Twiddle Their Thumbs, PSC Leaves Ratepayers Holding the Bill

While Attorneys Twiddle Their Thumbs, PSC Leaves Ratepayers Holding the Bill

Nov. 19, 2006 — We can only assume when the Public Services Commission puts a passel of utility attorneys and consultants on hold, it is costing the ratepayers money.
Such was the case this week when the PSC, in an extraordinary move, called a meeting for Sunday. The meeting was called for 1 p.m. The chairperson arrived and called the meeting to order at 1:45 p.m. — and immediately suggested the agenda be changed and the executive session be held first instead of last, as was called for on the original agenda. While commissioners met behind closed doors, everyone else stood around twiddling their thumbs until after 3 p.m.: lawyers, consultants, investment advisors and Water and Power Authority personnel, in this particular case. The high-priced professionals left waiting are going to charge somebody for their time, and that somebody is going to pass those costs along to — guess who? Us!
Roughly eight people (there were eight assorted attorneys and consultants standing around) billing at roughly $300 per hour would tally $4800 for the time these high-priced professionals spent waiting at the whim of the PSC.
This is hardly the first time this has happened — commissioners late and agendas reordered.
It is simply particularly outrageous when it happens on a Sunday.
We wonder if lawyers and consultants charge time and a half on Sundays.
At the end of the day, every item on the agenda was tabled.
It is time for ratepayers to call for accountability from the commission that is charged with protecting their interests. What some would consider rude or inconsiderate has become abusive.
Editors note:We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to source@viaccess.net.

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