Thursday, December 28, 2006

Spitzer may eye big changes at LIPA

NEWSDAY TOM MCGINTY

Governor-elect Eliot Spitzer has yet to focus on the Long Island Power Authority, but advisers to him and experts familiar with the agency say Spitzer will certainly consider wholesale changes at LIPA, including possibly returning the utility to private ownership.No one associated with Spitzer's transition team agreed to speak on the record about LIPA's future because, they said, no decisions have been made yet. But in background discussions, they touched on common themes about an authority which over eight years has morphed from the savior that lowered rates into another mistrusted governmental entity accused of waste and incompetence.
At the least, one insider said, Spitzer's goals for LIPA will include "making LIPA more business-focused and less political and public relations-driven." He added, "I think LIPA needs to move away from the gimmickry -- rebate checks, small rate reductions. I think LIPA's got to be very focused every day on lowering rates and make that its mission."
"While the rest of the world was privatizing, we were making a huge public authority without sound governance, without the empowerment to have the public part of the process," said Tonko, a Democrat from Amsterdam. "Now the clean-up is left to the incoming administration."

To say Richie Kessel is on the hot seat right now...would be an understatement........for the rest of this article ....... click here ..........andy

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