On June 18th, 2009 a serious accident occurred on the corner of Beach 90th Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard whereby a telephone pole owned and maintained by The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) fell due to inclement weather.
Most Rockaway residents and nearby businesses were aware of this existing and present danger. The Wave [Local Newspaper] was also diligent in trying to have this hazardous condition rectified.
Since this pole was badly in need of repair, many of the people and businesses in Rockaway contacted various city agencies to have this situation corrected.
I spoke to LIPA earlier that month and explained the situation.
In the aftermath of 06.18.09 an inquiry was made to the office of City Council Member Erich Ulrich for an explanation for this completely avoidable and nearly tragic situation.
A reponse from the President of The Long Island Power Authority, Kevin S. Law, who was appointed by former Governor Eliot Spitzer, after an inquiry by the Office of Council Member Eric Ulrich; did not show or take any responsibility for this obvious flap in community safety.
Sound business practices were called into question and LIPA seems not be aware of any.
In a response letter mailed to Council Member Erich Ulrich’s office they [LIPA] are “not the owners” of this telephone pole. A response letter was sent to Council Member Ulrich showing that LIPA wholly owns the pole that had to be replaced and serviced by them. This accident caused unnecessary disruption in commerce, electricity and communications. Yet, LIPA, to date, has no explanation.
Unfortunately, neither does Council Member Erich Ulrich.
One can only guess why a company the size of LIPA would reduce itself to the petty tactic of not taking responsibility. Or, if mistakenly an error was made, correct such error rather than provide confusing, incomplete, and distorted accounts of relevant facts. In fact, the LIPA response letter denies that they own or maintain this property.
Yet, The Wave’s coverage of these events clearly shows that the do in fact have full control over the maintenance and repair of what is now pole No. 110. Proper customer service could not be found. Rather this hearkens back to days past and present when many corporate malefactors in the United States and their related corporate iniquity namely, the Johns-Manville Corporation and more recently Enron Corporation including the recent oil catasrophe by British Petroleum.
How can a company the size of LIPA not be able to account for their own pole?
A follow-up letter and call to Council Member Ulrich‘s office went ignored.
Update: LIPA engineers have begun pole realignment in the vicinity and surrounding area where the accident had previously ocurred. In the process, however, residents are being inconveineced because the streetwalk is now obstructed while engineers work to refix the cabling.