As one of Rory Lancman's Kew Gardens Hills constituents, I congratulate him on his appointment by Governor Andrew Cuomo as Special Counsel for New York State utility ratepayers.
While I disagreed with his City Council agenda on criminal justice, as noted
by my letters to this newspaper, we have some things in common.
We've lived in Queens for several decades, reside in rent-regulated apartments, have strong ties to P.S. 164 and Queens College, and served in the military. I hope he brings the same tenacity to his new job as he did in the City Council.
One of his key goals, I feel, should be to end Con Ed's double standard for electricity distribution. The utility's power lines are buried underground for 39 square miles in Manhattan, while 561 square miles of overhead power lines serve clients in the outer boroughs and Westchester County.
Tropical Storm Isaias underscored this dangerous disparity. While relatively few Manhattan customers suffered power disruption, several hundred-thousand outer borough residents were without electricity for over a week.
A study ordered by then-mayor Mike Bloomberg in 2013 after Superstorm Sandy,
indicated that it would cost Con Ed $18.5 billion to place its outer borough power lines under ground.
That cost may have risen over the past seven years, but it's still essential.
The governor has said that Lancman will be responsible for ensuring that utilities make "required investments" to adequately serve their customers. This is clearly a
I hope Special Counsel Rory Lancman holds Con Ed's feet to the fire.
Kew Gardens Hills