"JEA", of all the agencies serving Jacksonville, it is
perhaps the one that seemingly tries the hardest to satisfy while
fighting heavy budgetary constraints. The JEA, has areas that are
in serious need of improvement. The Agency’s fearless leader,
Walt Bussells, would do well to forgo his apparent goal of
pleasing the Board. His main goal should be demanding safe,
reliable service for the City’s taxpayers and JEA
subscribers. The City
is growing like its never grown before yet… the JEA finds it
necessary to run skeleton emergency crews on weekends and
holidays. A time when most folks are home trying to enjoy family
and friends. Yet, we find that areas like Mandarin
Arrowhead/Hartley Rd. are blowing up and causing serious down-time
on at least two weekends of every month since the end of last
Spring. The excuse given is an "outside contractor" cut
an underground trunk cable at the area’s lift station. The
re-routing of the feed to the lift station has caused constant
problems in the residential areas of Mandarin ONLY on weekends.
Why Weekends only? Simple that’s when the loops and feeders that are
being overloaded by the re-route to the lift station act up and of
course, since it is residential, the main demands for power are on
weekends when everyone is home from work. But to have this
"re-route" situation from Spring till now?
Somebody at JEA needs to "re-route" their priorities.
One recent incident stands out; on 12/15/96, the power went out at
09:28am and remained out until 11:53am. The reason Junction Box
10487 (Lift Station Re-route) "Flashed Over" and took
everything it was related to down with it. Of course had there
been a full crew on for emergency outages, the power would’ve
been on much sooner than almost three hours later. One man in the
area for South Jax… is certainly a far cry from what’s needed.
Especially when the system in the Mandarin areas is partially
crippled and being re-routed putting serious power overloads on
circuits that normally do not approach such heavy load demands.
Outages, outages outages... Mandarin Arrowhead/Hartley area is
going down on an almost monthly basis. Down meaning at least
for a half hour or more. Still NO Relief.
no relief but we have gathered some interesting information.
It seems that when this area was wired about eighteen years ago....
the underground service was simply buried in the ground. It
was NOT placed in conduit for protection. This area easily
develops an inch or two of water every time we see a decent
rainstorm. That means the underground cables are underwater! The bad part is we've been informed that the
insulation on the underground cables has gone bad.... and that is
the primary reason why this area has so many outages.
its time for serious re-education of the work teams and
replacement of those at the top who seemingly refuse to realize
this is 1999 and not 1956. When this reporter interviewed Ron
Weeks, (Now Retired) he was busy offering the "facts"
that the service reliability is roughly the same as any other
Atlantic Coast Electric Utility. When he was asked why… just a
few weeks ago… the city suffered numerous lengthy serious
outages because of a "Northeaster" that blew in with
25mph winds… he was adamant the JEA was as good as any other
service. When the services of New Jersey Power and Light and Con
Edison of New York were mentioned he "tried" to compare
the JEA to these two utilities. To constantly blame "salt on
insulators", "squirrels", trees, and various other
"excuse harbors" of "safe haven" is a shame.
Its time the priorities of the JEA were changed to RELIABLE,
PROFESSIONAL SERVICE without the propensity to use PR as a band
aid for shoddy service and failing installations.
About taking over
the Water & Sewage Services...
The JEA has finally
gone the extra mile in chasing the "Golden Nitwit
Award". In the JEA's infinite wisdom, they've taken
over the majority of the City's water management. The Jury's
still out on this being a good idea or not.
The Westside is
treated to rapid flowing raw sewage in the streets, backyards and
in the homes and garages some of the residents. Hmmmm
appears the JEA is applying the same levels of expertise to the
newly acquired "Waterworks" as they do to the electrical
services. Nice thing for the Holidays for those folks.
What is it they say about being treated like mushrooms?
True, the water
distribution system in the city is far beneath the demands of
today with the city's growth rate. But... for the JEA to
jump up crying wolf about water pressure and water shortages at
this point in time when the problem has been there for at least
ten years is a complete sham in this reporter's opinion.
Why they had to
shut down certain feeds to install newer and larger feeds is
hilarious! They should've kept the old feeds going while
they were installing the new larger diameter pipes. (probably
would've cost too much according to some pinheaded bean
counter) Then along comes a severe heat wave and its
accompanying brush fires... (The Brush Fires... that's another
joke! see the Mayor's area) Once again JEA falls flat on its
face. Wait until we get slammed with a good storm. My
guarantee is the JEA will totally be embarrassed by its inability
to keep up with the power outages and water losses. The bungling
leadership at the JEA will "shine" brightly for all to
see. Of course the "spin-doctors" will tell a
different tale. The JEA will be begging for help from just
about anyone. Yet again, in the past few weeks we have been
witness to a JEA that is obviously lacking in top flight
leadership and direction. Banning people from using their
"bought and paid for" personal wells because the JEA and
the Mayor's posse didn't have enough manpower to enforce their
Bans on water usage. One can only wonder when this City and
its "stumble and fumble" leadership will ever rise to
the timeline we are in and GROW UP.
With the threat
of wildfires multiplying in the area, several Jacksonville
neighborhoods want to know why they have NO fire hydrants!
They are concerned about their safety. Some
neighbors say they are speaking out now before it's too late. They
with dry conditions feeding more and more wildfires, the danger
becomes a reality sparking fears in their community.
When firefighters battle a
blaze, fire hydrants are usually found in nearby neighborhoods to
protect families from becoming a victim. But, Ernest Clayton says
that is not the case in his Westside community.
Ernest Clayton, CONCERNED RESIDENT: "I'm not really
sure the fire department is aware they they would have to drag
hoses over a mile to get here so there could be a serious problem
with no place to hook up."
Also, in the Ortega Hills Community, no fire hydrants.
Zilla, CONCERNED RESIDENT:
"The water truck which comes from downtown takes about 20-30
minutes to get here and look what can burn down in 20-30
Randy Crouse, CONCERNED RESIDENT: "The first thing
the insurance company asked me is, do we have fire hydrants, and I
said no and that makes my insurance higher."
Residents believe they have
a valid argument since more than 500 families live with absolutely
no defense against wildfires or any other kind of fire. So, what
can residents do if they feel helpless as more and more wildfires
begin to burn across the state.
Dugan, JEA: "Homeowners can
get together and do what's called a special assessment and if 65
percent of the homes agree to it we'll come in and install bigger
lines and fire hydrants that sort of thing."
Here's the catch JEA tells me that neighbors will have to pay for
part of the cost of installing fire hydrants. If you are
interested or have questions about getting fire hydrants in your
neighborhood you can call JEA at 665-4465.
- WHO PAYS??? - WHY???
& Mrs. Duval County Taxpayer, The Joke's On You!
The homeowners and business
owners in these threatened areas are TAXED to DEATH as it
is!! Put these projects in with the full
Delaney Boondoggle called The Better Jacksonville Plan and do something truly worthwhile for taxpayers and the
City. Why must the people in the street always get it in the
neck? Then perhaps, we can all rest a little bit easier
when the dry season comes along and not be overly concerned with
the threat of being toasted alive.
Updates on the
Mandarin - Arrowhead/Hartley - Scott Mill Rd. From Beau Clerc
south to 95, All of Arrowhead/Hartley underground and overhead
plant. (by plant we mean the service itself, the
cables, the feeds and the reliability.)
To those customers both in
the areas mentioned and Duval County, how many times in the past
four years have you experienced an outage? We know...
Tens of DOZENS! Now comes the real killer.... how many times
have you experienced what's known as a relay jump... it goes like
this... rapid off and on of the power one or more times in quick
succession. That my friends, is what is literally KILLING your electrical appliances.
(air conditioners, refrigerators, ice makers, hot water heaters
and other high dollar appliances that run automatically and a good
percentage of the time.) The fast power "bumps"
introduced by the relay jump is devastating to these appliances.
Ask any professional service
technician about what turning an appliance on and off rapidly will
do. It is DEADLY to the
Now comes this
Arrowhead-Hartley area continues to experience another in the long line
of serious outages. (Almost Weekly) This time however, the relay jumps (3)
prior to the power going down slammed our office air
conditioner. The blower came back on but the compressor has
never been heard from since. We called the "JEA"
and what follows is a very ugly story. Did you know, that
unless a JEA service truck or something like that strikes you or
your home and possessions... the JEA is NOT liable for any other
damages caused by their service, connections etc.!! It would
seem that a reasonable expectation of a JEA customer would be to
receive reliable, SAFE service. They will summarily
deny any and all claims "according to guidelines". Talk
about having your cake and eating it too!
One can only wonder what
would happen if those offering services in the private sector
tried the same tactics. My guess is they'd spend an eternity
in Court and a fortune on attorney fees
The underground plant
(wiring) in the
Mandarin Arrowhead-Hartley area is showing serious signs of
deterioration and is becoming totally unsafe. Bumps and outages now occur on an
almost weekly basis. With the power transformers being in
the front yards at ground level of customers, is it going to take
one of these things blowing up and hurting someone to get the JEA
off of its procrastinating posterior and replace the dead and/or dying
underground cabling in the area? I'm saying YES... its going
to take a tragedy to get these goofs moving.
Its costing the customers of
JEA in the Mandarin area far more than the charges for the
electricity, water and sewage bill each month.... The hidden costs
are certainly astronomical!! Repairs of appliances,
replacement of appliances, service calls etc.. JEA is skating on
these hidden costs to its customers. Yet, when one brings
this fact to their attention... one gets the standard reply we
know there are problems in that area and we are doing everything
we can to help. To that I say baloney! Remember the
mushroom theory?? That's what the JEA is seemingly living
"Treat 'Em Like
Mushrooms... Kept in the Dark and Fed BS"!!!
I finally wound up talking with Walt
Bussells, (he's the head honcho at the JEA)... My claim was finally
paid. But only after undo grief and anxiety generated by the
lousy leadership and grifter-like policies at the JEA's "Revenue
Protection" Bandit Group.
June - July 2001
Arrowhead-Hartley is, once again, the center of
attraction... For the fifth time in so many weeks the power has
gone down in this area of the JEA's service area. The main
reason for the constant outages is a well known fact among the brass at JEA.... the underground
plant... (the cable in the ground) is over 20 years old and back
then when it was installed they did not put the cable in piping or
protection of any kind. Now two decades later, the whole enchilada
is coming apart. The JEA brass KNEW about this problem at
least two years ago when it was brought to their attention by
their linemen and customers. In fact, I was assured of the
Arrowhead-Hartley neighborhood being re-done back then by their
Underground Supervisor. Since then its been a series of
patch work fixes and nothing more.
Yesterday.... July 17, 2001
the power went down
at 3:50pm and stayed down until 7:40pm the entire
Arrowhead/Hartley neighborhood was unified by this backbreaking
blow by the JEA... Notice the failure came at "Shift Change"
time... the appearance of a service vehicle did not occur
until almost 4:35 and then they hunted the neighborhood for almost
an hour (that we were able to observe). When one called the
JEA asking for information, the average person was told nothing
and that "someone would call them back". In my case, since I
am rather outspoken, a callback occurred and it was the area
supervisor... he recognized who I was and offered to call the next
day with info about the cause of the power outage. No call
as of yet...
As you can plainly see, the almost three hour outage was
sufficiently long enough to deplete four 30 min model 1400 APC
UPS's. JEA reliability dictates that our next investment
will be an emergency power generator capable of supporting our entire
facility. JEA has proven they are not reliable and
obviously, by the ongoing outages ... simply don't care.
They get their "pound of flesh" every month. Shoddy service or
If this is the way JEA is going about "Building
Community", I'd rather they stick to what they know best...
Hopefully, its Electricity - Water & Sewage. It certainly is not
politics. Their "community" is a house of cards!
By the way.... for the record the Revenue
Protection Group operates a FRONT - It is called some silly sort
of name like Insurance Adjusters or some such non-sense. It
is still the Revenue Protection Group. These goofs will turn
you down even if a power line fell on your house and burned it to
the ground! Its a phony ritual they put the
taxpayer/resident/consumer through to wear them down and make them
Did you know the JEA bought United Water??
Interesting eh? Meanwhile The JEA seemingly cannot get enough
money, manpower and material
together to re-conduct Mandarin's Arrow/head Hartley area.
Shame on you JEA...... Shame on you.
Good News ....Maybe
07/20/01 - The eleven job
contract has been awarded for the re-conducting our area... and
ten others. According to Bruce Dugan our Arrowhead/Hartley area
will be the first to be done. This construction is scheduled
to begin in the September-October 2001 time frame. We will
keep you posted. Time will tell all.