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An Open Letter to the Bernards Township Committee

JCP&L is lying and the town is spreading its lies. Enough.

I sent this email to the Township Committee on Tuesday. I've heard nothing back yet. 

I have two major problems with your handling of the storm to date:

First, JCP&L is lying to you with its list of streets where work is allegedly occurring. And you are promulgating those lies to residents without any apparent effort to confirm what is actually happening. Thus you are apparently not holding JCP&L accountable, which is what I would expect you to do. 

Second, I have twice warned you of a matter of dangerous and serious liability for the township in my neighborhood with trees overhanging streets still -- nowhere near powerlines -- just as a nor'easter is coming, and the township has done nothing about it.

Days ago, JCP&L -- and you -- listed a number of streets as in progress. Then those streets were dropped off the list as if they were complete. But nothing has happened on them. They are still powerless. 

The streets JCP&L -- and you -- continued to list in the last few days that are near me have shown NO activity whatsoever. 

Now JCP&L -- and you -- and listing practically every street with downed wired in the town as if they being worked on. 

This is worse than meaningless. It is misleading. It is a lie. At a minimum, I would expect you to use just one city employee to verify what JCP&L is feeding you and you are feeding us. I would expect you to hold JCP&L accountable for the promises it makes and breaks. I would expect you to make some effort to give us accurate information. 

We have a right to accurate and complete information at a minimum. Anything less is an insult given everything we are going through. Home in my neighborhood are now falling below 48 degrees. They are uninhabitable. Yet families are in them. 

As for the dangerous situation in my neighborhood, on Deer Ridge Road, a day and a half ago, I disputed your assertion in your updates that township crews had removed every tree possible, every tree that was not touching a powerline. I informed you that there are trees on Deer Ridge that still overhang the road, presenting a serious danger of coming down on residents -- especially as another serious storm approaches. Nothing has happened. 

Here are photos of a few of those trees: https://plus.google.com/u/1/105076678694475690385/posts/BJsPDDE99yk

Let me note that as far as I have seen, the township has done *nothing* for Deer Ridge Road and the streets around it. My neighbors banded together with chainsaws -- and not inconsiderable personal risk -- to clear streets to enable us to get out. The township was informed *multiple* times of the danger presented by a downed utility pole blocking the road that prevented the township's own police and fire department as well as the gas company from getting access to a severe gas leak behind that pole. This also would have prevented police, ambulances, and fire from reaching any of us -- including some trapped seniors -- in the event of an emergency. We were told that JCP&L was being called to move that pole. But *nothing* happened. Finally, someone else went to the risk of moving that pole so we could at least be freed -- no thanks to Bernards Twp. 

We have been orphaned by you. We have received no services from you. You have prevented the police from being able to protect us; they had to run a quarter mile from that pole to respond to emergency reports.  

The street still stands in danger -- and thus the township still faces dangerous liability. 

We still do not have *any* reliable information on what to expect. 
I think one week without power, without services, and without reliable information defines patience. My patience is now utterly drained. 

I expect you to give us reliable information. 

I expect you to hold JCP&L and other utilities accountable for their service to us. 

I expect you to fix the dangerous situation on our street. 

I expect a reply, which I did not receive after my prior notice to you. 

Please help. 

Jeff Jarvis

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

claritas November 10, 2012 at 02:57 PM
I agree about PIKE!! Hooray for those guys!! But regarding the township committee, we are witnessing trickle down of conservative Republican platform. I imagine that next year the incumbents will stress again reduced expenses.
Sue Smith November 11, 2012 at 10:16 PM
Who is taking care of Lord Stirling Village? We have a property management co. that knows nothing, and does not allow generators: a utility co. that is leaving LSV until last as alway; and a township committee that is unreachable. All are uncommunicable. We have elderly people and children living there.
William Wilkes November 11, 2012 at 10:17 PM
Who is taking care of Lord Stirling Village? We have a property management co. that knows nothing, and does not allow generators: a utility co. that is leaving LSV until last as alway; and a township committee that is unreachable. All are uncommunicable. We have elderly people and children living there.
Todd Edelstein November 12, 2012 at 04:54 AM
@BRER, Funny you mention about how they need to meet. I had spoken to a committee person face to face on 10/30/12 and asked if the dump would be open during the week? Their response was that they were going to a meeting to discuss that subject. It was a question of manpower I was told. This is something that in a disaster plan would of been already set up, w/alternate sites in case of no access, like we had to deal with this time. I've said this many times at TWP Meetings, there are enough people in town who would volunteer to assist with cutting trees w/chainsaws, removal of debris blocking streets, man traffic posts to direct cars, etc. The town committee is not interested in volunteers to help out. Period, end of conversation.
Todd Edelstein November 12, 2012 at 05:22 AM
11/13/12 Meeting was canceled back in October due to a lack of quorum. I go to just about all the meetings and I believe that meeting should've been moved to a different day during that week. Years ago, there were twice as many meetings and they met on Thursday prior to the regular meeting on Tuesdays. If you are that pissed off, go to the next meet they have(I think it is 11/27), look into their eyes and let them know it. You only get 5 minutes to speak(it's timed) and more than likely, they will not respond to your questions or comments, but wait til they have their comment session to comment and dispute what you said w/o you having any chance to respond to their comments.

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