Presley: Customers should be cautious
“We in government are here to serve you,” Public Service Commissioner Presley impressed on Tunica Rotarians last week.
Presley, who represents the Northern District, including Tunica County, just completed a term as PSC chairman.
Presley highlighted two accomplishments during his term: the Ratepayers Bill of Rights which went into effect Sept. 5, 2010; and on-line, live coverage of PSC meetings.
The Ratepayers Bill of Rights bars utilities from shutting off electric or gas service to customers during extremes of heat or cold, among other provisions, Presley said, calling the measure a “grand slam” for consumers.
PSC adopts new rule on utilities legal fee
Brandon Presley recently led an effort to prohibit utility companies from being able to recoup legal fees in cases where they have been found to owe customers refunds. Currently, utilities can seek recovery from consumers of costs associated with appeals, even when a finding has been made that the utility owes money back to their customers.
“This is real simple: consumers should not have to foot the bill to sue themselves. Nothing is fair about asking the people who are owed money to pay for the other side in a court case. That would be like asking the people who win a case in court to pay for the losing side’s legal fees,” Presley said. “No utility customer should have to be paying to fight against their own wallet.”
SO focused on casino crimes
Two separate incidents at local casinos are under investigation by the Tunica County Sheriff’s Department.
On Saturday, Jan. 8, deputies responded to a call at Gold Strike Casino. Casino officials reported that an unknown male subject had taken approximately $7000 in cheques from one of the table games.
Census timing off for ‘12 vote
The timing of the release of data from the 2010 census is “causing problems throughout the state,” according to consultant Chris Watson of Bridge and Watson, Inc. Watson, whose firm has been hired by Tunica County to assist in the redistricting process, conducted a well-attended early hearing in the process last Thursday at the courthouse.
Watson said census data won’t be available until February at the earliest, shortening the timeline to use the data to reconfigure voting districts for the 2011 elections countywide and statewide.
“The qualifying deadline is March 1,” Watson said, “and the process takes several months.” The county’s final plan must also get approval from the U.S Department of Justice before it can be implemented, Watson reminded the crowd. Getting the okay back from the Justice Dept. can take 60 days or more, he said.
These factors persuaded the county board to use the current districts for the 2011 vote. The new districts will be in place for the 2015 state and county elections. Federal elections in 2012 will use new districts, county board attorney Andy Dulaney said in response to a question from the public. And the new districts will apply to school board elections prior to 2015.
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