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Letter: Frustration with PEPCO Motivates

— To the Editor:

My name is Abbe Milstein and I am a homeowner in Rockville. Like many in Montgomery County, I lost power for days, had to leave my home with small children and a dog in tow, and search for cool shelter in 100 degree plus temperatures. Frustration mounted, along with the rest of Montgomery County residents when multiple calls to PEPCO about lost service resulted in repeated lies and blatant denials. I decided to try to do something about it.

From my cell phone at a Barnes & Noble, I organized a meeting with a few community leaders from my local area and Councilmember President Roger Berliner. We met at 10 a.m. on Monday, July 9, at Councilman Berliner's office, along with his staff and the chief of staff from Marc Elrich's office. What we learned was both frustrating and fascinating. The information presented by Berliner and his staff, along with the contributions of members of the community leadership, clearly pointed out the need for some strong community activism and grassroots organization.

To get the message out to PEPCO and its oversight board, the Maryland Public Service Commission, it is important that we get as many residents who suffered during the power outage of the past few weeks to attend the Council PEPCO Debriefing on Thrusday, July 19 at 12:30 p.m.. The meeting will take place in the 3rd floor Hearing Room, at the Council Office Building, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville. Berliner's office number is 240-777-7828.

I know resident's are looking for a way to have their voices heard on this matter, so I would like everyone to assemble in the basement cafeteria of the Council building at 11 a.m. before the meeting. At this time I will provide sign-up sheets where frustrated residents can sign-up to testify at future meetings or just have their voices heard. There will be an opportunity to testify directly before the commission at a later date, but at the moment that date is tentative. This is officially an open meeting, where the public is invited to attend, watch and listen to the discussions taking place, but may not testify. I feel it is important that we get as many people as possible to attend and carry signs expressing disappointment with PEPCO and the commission. Berliner, along with other councilmembers, will be asking many important questions of Douglas Nazarian, the chairman of the Maryland Public Service Commission that oversees PEPCO. Please do all that you can to distribute this information to your homeowners and have them attend this critical meeting. This is the beginning of a lengthy discussion, but hopefully a good start to solving our power problems.

Abbe Milstein