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Leave LCEC in place

January 12, 2018
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

To the editor:

I was disappointed to read your Dec. 22, 2017 edition headline that the city and LCEC remain deadlocked in their positions. I had read that the dispute had been resolved with LCEC remaining in place. I write in support of LCEC for three reasons.

1) Sometime back in the 1990s, when my dollars were more precious, the city came down my street with the dual water system and a promise that if I paid my "one and only $2,500 special assessment" I would have free, unlimited, gray water in perpetuity. We all know how that has turned out. When I am up north, with my water turned completely off, I am billed $50/month in fixed rate costs. When I am here, my one month bill exceeds my three month bill in Green bay, Wisconsin including watering my GB lawn with potable water. To me, the city of Cape Coral has proven that it can not efficiently run a utility company. BTW, LCEC rates continue to decline !

2) For my entire life, whenever I pass an electric utility truck work site I see 2-3 men all humping and a job rapidly moving toward a conclusion. Contrast a municipal truck work site with one guy digging a hole and five guys standing around telling him how to use the shovel. Oh, I forgot to mention the three other guys moving the traffic cones around. Every time our power had been interrupted, or a transformer on a pole blows LCEC responds and repairs in amazingly fast order. I could not be more pleased with that service. If something works, don't fix it.

3) Hurricane Irma was the clincher.The electrical infrastructure of the entire state of Florida was heavily damaged. Did you see the fleets of utility trucks headed south? I don't know the details of intra-utility company agreements, but in Cape Coral my power was back on in 24 hours. If Cape Coral was doing it, I suspect that we would still be looking like Puerto Rico.

In summary, LCEC has earned our support with years of outstanding service. Karen Ryan of LCEC states, "they have a lack of understanding of the business." To me, that sounds like a very accurate, credible and understandable reason for the stalemate. Comparatively, what unspoken motive is pushing City Manager Szerlag into this dispute? IMHO it can't be cost or service issues. What else should we customers and ratepayers care about? Could it be control? Could it be ego? Could it be power over Cape Coral residents(no pun intended)?

Leave LCEC alone; negotiate a fair contract in good faith; and get on with solving other problems that are of City of Cape Coral making! BTW, the City of Cape Coral did a wonderful job of repaving Cape Coral Boulevard without interruption of traffic. Thank you.

Jim Fox

Cape Coral



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