Bill Gulliford vexed by JEA communications, performance flaws – Florida Politics (blog)
Sewage spills. Flawed communication with customers. Dead stoplights and live wires in the street. A board not accountable to City Hall.
These are just a few of the issues vexing local policy makers as the week ends.
A story percolating just beneath the surface of Jacksonville coverage of Irma: disquiet of local officials with the efforts in the JEA C-Suite.
In a “politicians only” conference call this week, we heard that as early as Tuesday, the Mayor and members of the Jacksonville City Council took umbrage with JEA’s communications issues throughout the storm, on issues ranging from telling customers when they would get their power back, to getting a sense of resource deployment on a district to district basis.
Mayor Curry himself stands by that frustration.
“The adversity brought upon our city by Hurricane Irma has been prolonged for many by continued power outages,” said Curry. “I am frustrated by conflicting information citizens have been receiving stating that power has been restored when it has not.”
Some Council members may, in the days ahead, be photo-opped away from their previous positions. However, Councilman Bill Gulliford stands by criticisms he’s made of JEA’s post-storm performance relative to Beaches Energy.
And on Friday, in a call with us, the Republican representing Jacksonville’s beach communities amplified them.
We caught up with Gulliford by phone; he answered in his hot, dark office in the Bayard area in South Jacksonville, where the power is currently not on.
“The office doesn’t have power,” Gulliford said, noting that some area businesses have power, and others do not.
The same holds true for various traffic lights in the high traffic area, and Gulliford has seen some “near misses” in terms of accidents.
Gulliford believes the culprit is a tripped breaker in the lines — a two-minute fix, he said.