Officials from Monmouth County towns gathered at Tinton Falls Borough Hall on Monday afternoon to discuss and critique and Jersey Central Power and Light's (JCP&L) service and communication during Hurricane Sandy.
Most officials in attendance agreed that the 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. Both Hornik and Colts Neck Mayor Jarrett Engel were vocal about their discontent with JCP&L during and after Hurricane Sandy
"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," Mayor 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," Mayor Skudera said.
Mayor 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 needs 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 need to know what JCP&L's infrastructure improvements are.
The mayors and office of emergency management officials also met to have a roundtable 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," Mayor 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," Freeholder Arnone said.