Governor Deval Patrick on WBZ 1030 Nightside hosted by Dan Rea – February 16, 2010
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Dan Rea (Host): And in studio, Governor Deval Patrick with us, he’s gonna answer a few questions, take your phone calls, and then at 9 o’clock you’ll be able to continue and talk about what sort of a job he’s done. I don’t want to look at this as a, as a job interview but you’re running for re-election
Governor Deval Patrick (Governor): I am and that’s the, that’s the most, that’s the most extreme job interview imaginable. It’s exactly as it should be. Dan, thank you, thank you for having me.
Host: Let’s go next to Cathy in Lunenburg. Hi Cathy, how are you, welcome, say hi to Governor Patrick.
Cathy Clark (Cathy): Hi Governor Patrick, how are you?
Governor: I’m well Cathy, how are you?
Governor: Thank you for calling.
Cathy: Well, thank you for taking my question.
Cathy: And it actually relates to municipal choice
Cathy: which you know that we’re strong advocates for out this way
Governor: mmm, mmm
Cathy: and that bill is sitting there in the legislature and every time I look at the calendar I think, OK how many more days in this legislative session, and the clock is ticking
Cathy: and we started a petition, Patrick Mehr and myself, online of which we’ve already obtained just over 2,000 signatures.
Governor: Cathy, is this the power thing we’ve been talking about?
Cathy: Yes, this is, mmm, the municipal choice bill that’s currently sitting in committee.
Governor: To, to be able to move away from Unitil?
Cathy: Right, [inaudible] simply and NStar and Western Electric and all the investor-owned utility areas, to simply pass this bill
Cathy: may, you know, better our service, may better our rates, mmm you know, just improve the quality of what we’re getting for service.
Host: Lunenburg, Lunenburg got killed [inaudible] a year ago
Governor: got hammered in the storm, and, and I think I recognize your voice, Cathy, ’cause you and I have talked about this a couple of times
Cathy: many times, yeah
Governor: yeah, and you know, I’m with you on this bill
Cathy: I know you are, I know and actually Representative Benson even signed our petition
Governor: excellent, excellent
Cathy: so we’d love to have you sign it, Governor
Governor: I’ll sign it, I’ll sign it, more to the point, I’d like to sign the bill.
Cathy: Yeah, yeah I would love that.
Governor: You know, Cathy, let me do this, if I may, just in case others, and Dan you may or may not know what we’re talking about, but in case the other listeners don’t know what we’re talking about, mmm Lunenburg was one of the towns that really got hammered in the ice storm
Host: Townsend, and Ashby
Governor: exactly, mmm north Worcester county area and, and Unitil is one, is the utility for much of that region
Cathy: right, 28,000 ratepayers
Governor: and they were singularly ill-prepared
Governor: in dealing with the damage and in restoring service, it took, I think in Lunenburg
Cathy: you coming out, Governor, to help us
Governor: well, it was finally, was it 10 days?
Cathy: yeah, well it was almost two weeks
Governor: almost two weeks
Cathy: that we were without power
Governor: I think you got your power back on Christmas eve, right?
Cathy: Yes, just about
Governor: just about
Cathy: the day before Christmas eve for my own family
Cathy: and for some, the power came back on and then went off again on Christmas day, which was really tough.
Governor: So Cathy, say a word if, if it’s all right with Dan, about what this bill does.
Cathy: What this bill will do, it will give communities the ability, if they choose to, to form municipalities. Mmm just the threat of competition would help increase our service, mmm and make it, you know, more affordable. Mmm just as an example, Governor, my own bill this month
Cathy: 400 dollars
Cathy: I have an average size colonial home
Cathy: I have a cousin who lives in Reading, I was speaking with him, his bill, and he has a muni, 80 dollars
Cathy: I mean
Governor: it’s, it’s really, Dan is making a face here, Cathy.
Cathy: I know.
Governor: And when, when Cathy says for municipalities, she’s talking about municipal power companies
Cathy: Thank you, yes
Governor: so local, local power companies
Cathy: local power companies
Governor: And I like the idea, I like the idea of the competition, and I like the idea of the local, local control
and so I wanted you to mention, just describe the bill so that I can do this, Cathy. For any of the listeners who are interested in this bill and this concept,
I would ask you to support it by calling your Rep or Senator and asking them to support the bill and to move it onto the floor for a vote
and for debate, and I think, I think they’ll be a robust debate, they’ll be interest expressed on the other side and that’s the way it ought to be but we not, we haven’t gotten movement to Cathy’s point and I think it would be helpful if people would pitch in.
Host: By the way, Cathy, just to remind you, we tried, oh, very hard last December to get the President of that company, Unitil, and I forget his name now
Cathy: Mr. Schoenberger
Host: Schoenberger, it was a long name, to come in here and take questions from his, his customers. He first agreed, then they disagreed and we had, I did several programs on that, and we, we’ll keep our eye on that one here on Nightside as well. Thanks, Cathy.
Cathy: I appreciate it very much.
Governor: Be well.
Cathy: Thank you.