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Saying "No" to Municipalization

Fortnightly Magazine - February 1 1996

township officials and their constituents that it might be better to postpone a municipalization vote until after federal and state regulatory changes are adopted. With dramatic changes in the electric utility industry around the corner, switching to town electric now would be like installing expensive, bulky mainframe computers a year or two before PCs hit the market. t

James S. Lanard, president of Lanard & Associates of Arlington, VA, is a specialist in utility municipalization campaigns. Lanard is a former chief of staff to Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), the ranking Democrat on the House Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Energy and Power. Glenn O. Steiger is director of corporate affairs and competitive strategies for Jersey Central Power & Light Co., where he has served as a corporate official for

13 years. Steiger has worked in the electric utility industry for 25 years.

How the Drama Unfolded

June 15 Anchor Glass Container meets with JCP&L to discuss its May 23 letter requesting a negotiated electric rate

Anchor meets with the township manager to discuss creating a municipal utility

July 8 Anchor provides an initial economic analysis to the township

July 18-19 Anchor meets with business leaders and the deputy mayor; discusses the proposal at a township council meeting

July 25 Anchor presents Council with an offer of commitment

August 8 Anchor meets with township manager to develop a cost estimate for a replacement electric system

August 22 JCP&L makes presentation to township council on the proposed municipal utility. Council votes to put the municipalization issue on the ballot

September 12 Township selects Courtney & Associates to analyze the municipal utility proposal

October 10 Public rehearing held on the municipal utility

October 17 Courtney & Associates, Stone & Webster make presentations

November 7 Referendum defeated-3,646 to 563.

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