Getting the runaround

To the Editor:

I found the article that appeared in the Oct. 23 edition of the Islander, “Crooked Road pole upgrade planned,” to be incomplete. I gather from what is written that the reporter took his information from Emera Maine’s latest filings to the Maine PUC. I don’t see any reference to any conversation or contact with the complainants or any advisory committee members.

An Emera representative facilitates the two advisory committees. Each advisory committee meets on alternating Thursdays. Emera is in charge of the weekly meeting and meeting venue, along with the proposed agenda and information presented. Although committee members are asked for their input, Emera has the final say with decisions impacting these meetings; thus the word ‘advisory.’ Members can submit suggestions and requests to Emera for consideration and approval.

As a member of the substation advisory committee and a community member, I want to address the statements referring to meeting cancellations. The glitch in the process started at the end of the meeting on Sept. 4. The facilitator informed the group that a prior engagement conflicted with the transmission lines advisory committee meeting for Sept. 18. He would contact everyone by email to choose an alternate date for that week.

We were never contacted. The committee was scheduled to meet on Sept. 11. The facilitator emailed everyone on Sept. 10 to inform us of its cancellation. We learned through the town website that a meeting was scheduled for Sept. 25. We received an email from the facilitator on Sept. 19 stating the Sept. 25 meeting was made in error and there would not be a meeting.

His email indicated a possible meeting on Oct. 2, but he would confirm later. I sent an email to the facilitator on Sept. 23 to inform him of a conflict with time, place and date of our meeting and a town meeting on Oct. 2. I stressed the importance of the Deer Herd Task Force Management Plan Public Hearing; the fact that it would be on the Nov. 4 ballot and that several members from both advisory committees said they planned to attend the town meeting.

I requested the Oct. 2 advisory meeting be postponed until Oct. 9. The facilitator granted my request on Sept. 25 and said he would inform the groups of the next proposed meeting. We assumed it would be set for Oct 9.

No meeting was scheduled by Emera for Oct. 9, 16, 23, or 30. We heard nothing from the facilitator or Emera in general until Oct. 27. The second Emera representative, who has attended all committee meetings, sent everyone an email updating us on Emera’s internal progress and informed us of proposed committee meetings for Nov. 6 and 13.

Even though filings to the Maine PUC were completed by Oct. 13, per Emera’s email response, committee meetings were not scheduled.

Members wondered why advisory meetings could not be scheduled or held from Oct. 9 through Oct. 30.


Terri Zabala

Bar Harbor

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