For those of us living on Las Palmitas, this Labor Day weekend represents the umpteenth three day weekend in the last five years we have spent without electricity. It’s a regular occurrence, I could set my three day weekend clock by it.
We lost power at about 10:30 Sunday morning along with other streets in the Altos. We were told it would be up in a couple of hours. They were right, every other affected street was up in a couple of hours. However, all 16 homes on our street continued to remain dark. We were told late Sunday that we would have power by 11:00 AM Monday, only to be told on Monday morning by Edison, that our outage isn’t an emergency and since Edison is only handling emergency calls on Labor Day our power would be up by 11:00 am on Tuesday.
In the past, we’ve contacted every incumbent city council person for assistance and have never had the courtesy of a return phone call. In the meantime, those same city council people continued to doggedly pursue their own pet projects. We’ve contacted the emergency line for the police/fire department only to be dismissed by a snotty dispatcher. Calls after the weekend to city staff were also not returned.
This time Stephen Rossi intervened. We are very fortunate he did because Edison had no record of our outage. We didn’t show on any map and crews were not scheduled to respond. Working with Public Works Director, Shahid Abbas, who contacted Edison, a crew was dispatched on Tuesday morning and our power was restored around noon.
Shahid also took the time to follow up to make sure our issues were resolved.
We have learned several things throughout this episode. First, Edison is extremely difficult to work with and poses huge challenges for a community like ours. Shahid shared that he is forming a coalition of San Gabriel Valley communities to share common issues with Edison and work toward resolution. He encouraged all of us to share issues (no matter how minor) for this group to begin work. What an excellent idea.
One of the more disturbing revelations was that the primary form of contact for the city with Edison is email. There is no escalation process involving speaking with someone on a phone. With our issue, particularly since it didn’t show on an outage map, an escalation process is essential. I’m sure we’re not the only local community with this problem, so I suggest a formal escalation process as the first topic to be taken up by the coalition.
The other disturbing issue is the lack of any response from our district representative, Mayor Bob Joe. Without the intervention of Steve, Shahid and an anonymous local resident who works for Edison, it is very likely that we would still be waiting for power. Could somebody please let Bob know that everything has been taken care of?
– Mark Haines
South Pasadena Resident
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