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JACKSONVILLE, DUVAL COUNTY, FLORIDA

1995 The "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?

1996 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.

1997 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.

1998 Still 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.

1999 Perhaps… 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.

1999 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 say that 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.

Chuck 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 minutes."

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.

Bruce 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.

WHAT PAY?!?!?! - WHO PAYS??? - WHY???

Mr. & 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.

2000 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 appliances.

Now comes this reporter's story....

The 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 by. 

"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.

Update Time...

June - July 2001

Mandarin - 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 not.

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!

Specializing in Double Talk

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 "go away"!!

The BIG Spenders

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.

Great News  Click Here

 
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