Letter: WMECO’s bad move

Employees of the Western Massachusetts Electric Company’s (WMECO) Greenfield Service Center are reaching out to the residents and businesses of Franklin County. Our parent company, Northeast Utilities, which recently underwent a merger with NSTAR (Eastern Mass., Cape Cod & Islands), has taken second fiddle to policies, procedures and philosophies. NSTAR feels that by consolidating work centers they still can maintain the same customer service they presently have. Far from it!

All of our Greenfield employees live in Franklin County and are between 5 and 20 minutes from our bucket trucks. We all take a great deal of pride in restoring power to our residents and businesses because we are all customers just like you.

A move to house all the bucket trucks in Hadley makes no sense at all. To be the only county in western Massachusetts without a WMECO presence would be a slap in the face to all residents and businesses. We are linemen, electricians, stock clerks, garage mechanics and field technicians. If our company thinks that by sending everyone to the Hadley Service Center will keep your outage times and response times the same, think again! Add hours to the time your meters stop spinning.

We all know what it takes to get the lights back on, and we’re here to tell you that there will be longer response times and outage times, guaranteed!

The people of Franklin County need to know that a supervisor on call 24 hours a day cannot put wire back up on a pole or change a transformer, and the troubleshooter’s main responsibility is making a situation safe first, then calling a two-man crew (at least) to repair downed wires or fix a broken pole.

We are unique here in Franklin County. We’re very rural. There are a lot of miles of wire that may feed only one or two homes. NSTAR is big city: Boston, Somerville and Waltham to say the least. Big cities where many employees can work out of large service centers.

We are asking that you contact your selectmen and selectwomen, fire chiefs, police chiefs, state representatives and senators and Attorney General Martha Coakley. Let them know longer outage times are imminent!

Remember, we are all in this together.

RICK KOSTANSKI

BILL FREEMAN

and 13 other WMECO employees

Greenfield Service Center

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