Edwards concerning prices: “They are what they are!”
Only 1 Rocky Mount City Council Member willing to challenge Edwards on that statement: Reuben Blackwell, Ward 2.
Graham Edwards, CEO of ElectriCities, was in Rocky Mount NC recently to handout awards to local utility workers. The awards were to be given out during the last NCEMPA meeting in Wilson NC. Rich Worsinger, Utilities Director for the City of Rocky Mount, thought it would be a good idea (and a good PR gimmick) to have the awards hand presented by Edwards at a Rocky Mount City Council Meeting.
No one really knew Edwards was coming to Rocky Mount (outside of a few City Hall people), so when a lady spoke regarding high utility rates, it was completely by accident that Graham Edwards was in the audience.
She spent about three minutes saying what has been said many many times before. She thought the City Council could be doing something (anything), she felt utilities was unfair and too high.
What was really interesting was Graham Edwards’ “off the cuff” response. He gave a short history of electricity in eastern NC (by now we all know it by heart) but he said more than once concerning prices that “THEY ARE WHAT THEY ARE”. Albeit, that Edwards was there to hand out awards, not to give an account of Electricities to the Rocky Mount City Council.
This CEO makes more than any ElectriCities CEO in the history of the corporation. He should (and is paid to) justify the actions of Electricities, especially when he is in front of a governing body such as a city council.
Good ol’ Boys Abound
As Edwards finished speaking and after he gave out the last award (and took the last picture) with a city utilities employee, Mayor David Combs came down, shook his hand (patted his arm), and smiled saying “good job”. Was Combs just being nice? Maybe? Does he think it’s just easier to catch more flies with honey than with vinegar? Maybe? Or did he actually think Edwards had done a good job answering questions? Who knows?
This was not a personal event for Edwards. He was representing ElectriCities! Any questions asked of him by an elected official or a local citizen for that matter should certainly be taken seriously and answered within the scope of his capacity.
Edwards did say that he would be more than happy to come back and engage the city council in a detailed discussion. Let’s hope that doesn’t mean “let me come back when I’ve got my facts straight and my talking points in order”.
Citizens of Rocky Mount deserve better and ratepayers in eastern North Carolina deserve answers better than “it is what it is”.