I don’t have a passive personality, so I’ve read a lot of the reports and studies, asked questions and I’m trying to work on behalf of all the LIPA ratepayers.
Are there any specific areas that you would like to see LIPA improved?
The key things that were lacking were communication and response. As a businessperson, I know you have to listen and talk to your customers. I try to do that and I want to make LIPA better in that arena.
Here’s the big question with LIPA: the future. I’m waiting to be convinced on privatization. I’m waiting to hear from the governor’s office with respect to their plans, approach and study with an open mind. However, at my first public LIPA meeting [Jan. 24] we had a presenter tell us that there was $900 million in Sandy storm expenses. Because we’re a state agency, we are eligible for Federal Emergency Management Agency reimbursement — 85 percent of that. Where I come from that’s real money. My follow-up question to the LIPA staff presenter was, ‘if we weren’t a state agency, we couldn’t get FEMA reimbursement, who would pay for it?’ and he said, ‘the ratepayers. The governor has to do a lot to convince me how we overcome that.