I am pleased that First Energy Corporation took my letter to Anthony Alexander, its CEO, on November 7, 2012 seriously. In that letter, I questioned First Energy’s preparations and criticized their lack of communication during and after Hurricane Sandy left thousands of Cleveland Heights residents without power for days.
On November 26, John Skory, president CEI/FirstEnergy, responded to my letter and subsequently set up a meeting at City Hall to discuss Mayor Kelley's and my concerns as well as longstanding issues with the Cleveland Heights electrical grid. On Monday, December 3, Mayor Ed Kelley and I had a productive meeting with Mr. Skory and First Energy’s External Affairs Manager, Terry Killeen.
Mr. Skory made a strong commitment to improve First Energy’s storm preparation and management, as well as reduce the non-storm related power outages that occur in the City.
- He asked that we give him an opportunity to show that positive changes will be made. He will return in a month to share a plan for the City’s power grid with a detailed map that will identify problem areas and offer resolutions to these problems.
- First Energy will have dedicated crews in Cleveland Heights that will be here during a storm and will not leave until the storm is over and all power has been restored.
- First Energy will have conference calls with Cleveland Heights City Hall prior to a major storm to keep us informed and able to respond to residents’ concerns.
I am hopeful that from the unfortunate mismanagement of the storm will now come a positive outcome for all residents and businesses of Cleveland Heights with improvements to our electrical grid and services across the entire City.