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Special Storm Response Meeting Scheduled for Saturday

Township officials to discuss response and power outage restoration efforts with public.

A special meeting of the Montville Township Committee will be held Saturday for residents to come and discuss Tropical Storm Sandy response efforts.

The meeting will be held at the municipal building, on Changebridge Road, from 9 a.m. to noon.

Do you have questions you plan to ask committee members during the special meeting? What are they? Tell us in the comments.

Gini Patel November 08, 2012 at 07:05 PM
My question for the committee - Why such slow restoration for high ridge section of Towaco? Day 11 - we are still without power. Most of the storms experienced in the past two years, high ridge section of Towaco loses power immediately and the restoration is always slow. Please provide explanation.
Heidi Calcagno November 08, 2012 at 08:21 PM
why send weblinks in most nixle alerts if people don't have wifi?
Jennifer Furia November 08, 2012 at 11:48 PM
I have lived in Towaco for almost 6 years. I have lost power approximately15 times since. The past few storms we have been the first to lose power, and last to get it back. I have called the head of public works 5 times in the past 2 years and have yet gotten a call back. I live on the upper part of Waughaw Rd. and it is always dangerous. The trees are over grown and old and need attention especially on the hair pin turns. I'm afraid it will take someone's life before it gets properly maintained. We pay $$$$ in taxes with out sewer, natural gas, or water. We would expect nothing but impeccable town service. Unfortunately that is far from fact.
melikric November 09, 2012 at 01:05 PM
We are refugees from Towaco and will be unable to attend the meeting on 11/10. Could the Twsp. Committee establish locations throughout Montville, at which vital medicines can be stored under refrigeration? Parsippany has such location. When we inquired of the Montville Police prior to the hurricane whether we had such facilities, we got a big DUH for an answer. Outages such as this one and the two last year cannot help but make Montville a less desirable place in which to live, which does nothing to help maintained property values. The Twsp. Committee has had properties reevaluated considerably upward with sharply increased taxes this year when our properties are by and large tanking. Hopefully the Committee will awake from their complacent slumber and serve instead of being served.
PB November 09, 2012 at 01:56 PM
Aside from relaying information which they can indeed improve upon, what would you like them to do? Climb the poles personally and fix your wire? Cut down every tree as a preventative measure? If you have a particular need (refrigeration of medication) and have not taken any steps to assure yourself that that need will be met under all circumstances, it's your own fault. If your personality makeup is such that you cannot live with the inconvenience of losing electric for a prolonged period of time and have made no other arrangement, it's your own fault. If you've suffered 15 outages in the past 6 years and it's never occurred to you to get a generator, it's your own fault. Generators have become so inexpensive over the past 10 years that there's no excuse for anyone not to have their own source of backup power for essentials such as heat and refrigeration. Every one of us can afford what we want to afford, so if a new flat-panel is of higher priority than a small generator, it's your own fault that you can't turn that flat-panel on. If you think you shouldn't have to do this, and want to stand your ground, good for you for sticking to your principles and enjoy the cold darkness. But for under $500, you COULD have electric for basics.
JR November 09, 2012 at 02:03 PM
The town isn't responsible for your natural gas or electricity. Stop blaming people for what nature did. Be glad you still have a house, many don't. I too live in Towaco (20 years) and have been without power for 11 days. Am I unhappy, yes. Is it the town's fault? No.
JR November 09, 2012 at 02:06 PM
Nixle is not a town based system. It is a service the town subscribes to. Is this really your most pressing concern?
JR November 09, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Shouldn't you send this question to JCP&L ? You know, the people who actually provide your power and maintain the lines.
JR November 09, 2012 at 02:07 PM
PB - Very well said.
Micster November 09, 2012 at 02:56 PM
No, not very well said, very stupidly said. Sure if you have a generator, you have some basic heat and electric. Your house is cold, you have no hot water and for those of us in Towaco/Pinbrook no running water. Lets say you are an elderly person living on your own, you think they have an easy time filling up and setting up a generator. We have had house fires in the area, people have died from carbon monoxide poisoning and the availability of power seems to be provided by JCP&L on a best efforts basis. We pay the highest rates in the country, the service is crap and there seems to be no effort by JCP&L to improve things. Sorry, but this crap does not happen in Europe, outages last hours, lines are buried. You are suggesting we follow a third world model Jennifer is suggesting we start looking for a 21st century solution to the problem - I like that attitude!
RMW November 09, 2012 at 03:41 PM
I agree with the need to purchase a generator as these things are seemingly happening more and more, but let's not pretend a portable gas generator is the savior you're making it out to be. First, good luck having a $500 generator last you two weeks with continuous use. Half the people on my street had theirs konk out in a few days even with routine maintenance. If you're going to buy one, do it right and get a Honda or Yamaha, both of which are going to cost you way more than $500 but are the only ones reliable enough to trust when needed. Secondly, if you want it to run your heat or well, you're going to have a transfer switch or interlock kit installed with is going to run you another $1000+. Thirdly, if you have a generator big enough to run your heat and well, you're going to be going through a lot of gas, which is obviously a huge problem when there's no gas to be had (and also very expensive if you are able to find gas). The only real way to mitigate a long power outage like this is to install a natural gas automatic generator, which I did after Irene last year...but you're going to be spending $10K on it. Gas generators are fine for a 2 or 3 day outage, but not two weeks.
Mom Tlm November 09, 2012 at 05:21 PM
What about the cable company? Don't they take any responsibility for their lines and lack of use during these outtages? Our home lost power around 5 pm on the nightof the storm, but we have a built in generator. I watched the news to stay informed until bedtime around midnight. I woke up the next morning with Cable also gone. Are they going to do anything to improve their service during storms? This is even more important so we can get information.
PB November 09, 2012 at 05:45 PM
I'll presume your response requiring derogatory language is because you're freezing your behind off and no longer have a decent command of English. I'm in Towaco, btw. I have heat, hot water, home theater, lights, I can light my stove, bake in my gas grill, haven't killed my family with Co2, have purchased a generator that requires nothing more than pushing a button which I'll be able to handle in my old age, purchased a transfer switch so I don't kill the linemen that are trying to help me, and haven't burned down my house, so where's the stupidity? Looking for a '21st century solution ' is great, and should be encouraged, but how fast do you supposed an infrastructure that took 100 years to build initially can be re-built using new technology? I'm not saying that what we've got can't be improved upon, but it isn't a problem that's going to be fixed now and it's probably not going to be fixed by the next storm or maybe for 5 or 10 storms. As for how the Europeans deal with this, they've wisely chosen to locate their countries in an area that isn't prone to hurricanes. When they do have catastrophic incidences, their infrastructure is far smaller than ours, they don't have homes with multiple refrigerators,furnaces and tv's, and, most importantly, they don't have the same sense of entitlement that we have - they just deal.
PB November 09, 2012 at 06:09 PM
RMW, I agree with everything you've said. My point about the $500 generator was to front-run those who would complain about cost. You're correct about the natural gas generators, but even those come in budget models that will not withstand usage such as this past week and a half, so, like everything else, you get what you pay for. But as long as that's been brought up, this is an expensive, affluent town. While $10g isn't a drop in the bucket for most, we've already spent hundreds of times more than that on our houses, most of us spend some multiple of that on multiple cars, so why would we draw the line at a $10,000 purchase that would assure the safety and comfort of our families? If the furnace died, we wouldn't say "bundle up kids, maybe next year....". Keep the car a year longer, eat dinner at home a little more, whatever it takes, but in the grand scheme of things, it's not that large a purchase to swing. To think that the electric company is going to supply our electric 100% of the time just isn't realistic, so take control and supply it for yourself. As for those that are going to stick to their principles, as I said originally, good for them for such fortitude and I hope they have gloves.
Dan Grant November 10, 2012 at 01:40 AM
JR and PB your attitudes just lost a national election. The idea that it is everyone for themselves lost. Maybe not in Montville but through the general population. No one expects the the Township Committee to climb the poles and people do understand the magnitude of the problems that came out of this storm but to attack someone for being concerned about medication that needs to be refrigerated or saying the answer to everyones problems is to buy a generator doesn't answer the very basic question of why there wasn't better communication with people or why the Power Company doesn't have the ability to respond to this type of emergency. It doesn't answer the question of why certain sections of the Township go out on such a frequent basis. Lost in all of this is the fact that while Montville is rated as an affluent town there are many who live here that are just working people and in this ecconomy are just getting by. We have a population of seniors who are particularly effected by this type of problem and yes while some have the ability to take action by buying $10,000 generators many do not. Most of all it has been my experience that communication, action and the visability of our elected official is all the people really want. If you tell me that our State Senator, Assembly People, Freeholders (who live in this Township) and local officials don't have any role to play in this then what the hell do we need them for.
PB November 10, 2012 at 02:23 PM
I didn't know I was running for office. With all due respect Dan, if you could somehow stop politicizing every single issue you just might be taken as a more serious voice in Montville. The 'us versus them' attitude pervasive in your posts diminishes the content of what you're actually saying. This conversation was about addressing the immediate need, that of not freezing one's behind off because of the problems with the electric, NOT a declaration that the system is great, can't be improved upon and certainly not that one buy a generator in lieu of fixing the power lines and holding JCP&L accountable. But the realities are that there will always be storms, there will be trees that fall and take out power lines, and, most importantly, that we don't want to pay for better service or a more secure infrastructure and that even if we decided we did want to pay for these upgrades it's not something that's going to come about any time soon, even if they started tomorrow. You can try and change mother nature, physics and human nature, but really the first 2 will not change, the third might but at a snails pace, as in over generations. As for the need for refrigeration, that should have been planned for long in advance of this or any other storm - there are options that don't include generators, and having not made that backup plan far in advance was negligent. Cost? As I said in the first post, for under $500 electricity can be had.
Vera November 10, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Thanks for speaking up for the seniors in our town. My mother is 74 years old and still living in the same house that she and my father bought in the 1970's. She is very proud of the fact that she is still able to live in and maintain her home, however she also does that on a fixed income (and btw she has been driving the same car for many years and rarely goes out to dinner -- only for very special occassions). People like that don't necessarily have an easy extra 10K lying around. She is making do through this mess but she wants to know why Towaco has consistently been the last to have power restored after Hurrican Irene, last year's October storm and now Sandy. She doesn't believe that the township is seeing to the needs of Towaco residents in this situation. She has a "$500 generator" and has been using it and even with that it's been a task. Everyone getting generators isn't solving THE problem which is a communication problem not just on the part of JCP&L but also the township.
PB November 10, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Kudos to your mother Vera, mine is the same but several years older. The town does not control the power company, and the only thing I've ever seen ride the vocal wave out of the mouths of politicians is B.S., not electricity, so really communication isn't the main issue here, it's electricity. I know it's difficult to deal with a less-than-ideal power source, I know not everyone can go out and buy the Lexus of generators, but the comment about buying one was not meant in lieu of holding JCP&L accountable, but rather as a way of skirting the unavoidable. See my post below - storms aren't going to change, trees toppling aren't going to change, and the general unwillingness of the population to heavily invest in a more sound infrastructure all add up to more of what we've had these past 13 days. Sure it's frustrating not knowing when things will be restored but that isn't going to change either - these things are unpredictable, it's just the nature of repairs. As to Towaco 'being the last to get service', I can't comment since I don't have any better info than you, but I do live in Towaco on a street that has all of 4 houses, so I assure you that I'm not on top of the list. Everyone around me had power 2 days before I did and it was infuriating, but again that's not something that's going to change any time soon - I'm not willing to bear the cost of trenching and burying the cables up to our houses, so trees will continue to fall and knock down the lines.
Dan Grant November 10, 2012 at 10:34 PM
PB, You say "if you could somehow stop politicizing every single issue you just might be taken as a more serious voice in Montville. The 'us versus them' attitude pervasive in your posts diminishes the content of what you're actually saying." Every single issue is political if it deals with the response of elected officials at any level and often it is " them vs us." In the 15 years I served I found that people would except the answer to problems as long as they had accurate information and the fact that someone they elected was responsive. You call it political, I call it citizen action. Politics is what shapes the every aspect of the township for better or worse. I wasn't at the meeting this morning but I did get a report from someone who was there and I will say that the Township Committee has reverted to public session that is not very effective. People ask questions and they are recorded and answered at the end. That isn't the way the Committee operated when I was on it. Questions were answered as best they could be and that allowed for follow up questions. It was a dialogue with people. There was cross questioning which allowed for more information rather then less.

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