April 28, 2004

Dear TN resident,

I want to continue to encourage you to support the creation of a Public Utility Commission for all TN residents.

Recently I went to the payment window of the City of Cookeville to make my monthly payment and was told by the clerk that my electric had been turned off and they required another substantial payment to reconnect.

The truth was my electric was still on because I immediately left that window and went to my home on North Franklin. The electric was not off but the shut off truck was just pulling into my drive. I attempted to reason with the man but he just made the comment “I’m just doing my job.” I asked him to call an officer as a witness. The local PD came out and watched him shut me off even though I tried to make my payment just minutes before. I was required (blackmailed is a better term) to pay the city another $30.00 to get my power restored. When I complained the supervisor just said, “There is no guarantee we will not shut you off anytime on the shutoff day.” Well, dear reader, I feel I have no place to complain about this kind of injustice at the city offices since this is what they do so I am encouraging any reader that has had issues with a utility provider to contact your legislative representatives and request they either introduce or support a PUC law here for all TN residents.

It is abundantly obvious the governmental utilities operate as they wish without regard for any citizen and without having to answer to anyone concerning their policy. The Dept. of Commerce does regulate private utilities and will intervene at the customers’ request so the apparatus already exists for oversight. We just need to extend this regulatory authority to include all utilities here in TN.


Steve Mercer