The LIA is calling on the governor to let the SERVCO model continue and also – in deference to the governor – continue to fully evaluate the potential for privatization. Regrettably, the LIA does not call on the governor to fully evaluate all options, including moving LIPA to a fully municipal operation, and this can be attributed to a collective mindset that it is predisposed to the assumption that a municipal utility would not be as “efficient” as an investor owned utility.
There is a general misunderstanding of utility operations, over simplified in the minds of many, and this is especially true in context to the negative attributes of deregulation (especially the additional layers of cost that flow to ratepayers by having utility leadership with one foot in the regulated and one foot in the unregulated marketplace).
The “cost” of the governor’s push to privatize, and the LIA’s predisposed conclusion relating to municipal utilities, will weigh heavily on the entire Long Island Community, and the business community members currently coalesced into the body and leadership of the Long Island Association will not be spared that burden.
It would seem that some of the LIA’s recommended adjustments could lead to more efficient operation of the LIPA system, especially during storm response, but LIPA ratepayers deserve a full review of all alternatives – and that review should be conducted in full public view.