City To Shine Light On ComEd Tonight


For those of you who want and expect dependable electrical power from that monopoly supplier known as ComEd, there will be a special City Council meeting tonight at City Hall beginning at 6:00 p.m. to discuss the recent power outages that have afflicted most of Park Ridge.

Although that meeting was originally called by Mayor Dave Schmidt to address the June 21st power outages, we understand that this week’s outage has also been added to the agenda as a topic of discussion – along with Com Ed’s overall performance and chronic problems that seem to manifest themselves with almost every warm-weather storm.  Hopefully, the ComEd representative assigned to Park Ridge will explain exactly what we got for the $570,000 of “capital investments” he claims ComEd has made in the Park Ridge power grid over the past 3 years, and why we keep on losing power on such a widespread basis despite those improvements.

More than three years have passed since we wrote, in Does ComEd Dream Of Electric Sheep (01.16.08),  about ComEd’s public dog-and-pony shows with no demonstrable follow-up.  Since that time, the mayor and six members of the City Council have changed. 

Now we’ll get to see whether the City’s dealings with ComEd will change.

To read or post comments, click on title.

18 comments so far

Now we will see?? Correct me if I am wrong but has it not been almost 2 years for the Mayor?? Do we not have a record of his performance on this issue? He did not need the council to make this issue much more visible. He uses his “bully pulpit” for many other issues and he could have used it to call out com ed – he did not. He did not need the council to “take an aggressive approach with Commonwealth Edison to come up with actual solutions to the problem of chronic power outages”. Again, he did not.

Don’t get me wrong. I will be very greatful if “the City’s dealings with ComEd will change”. However, that will not change my disappointment with the Mayor’s performance on this issue. It is more disappointing when you consider it was one of the central issues of his campaign (infrastructure).

EDITOR’S NOTE: We agree that the mayor has not done anything until now to improve electrical service to Park Ridge. On the other hand, he has spent an inordinate amount of time on budget and spending issues – which we feel are, overall, the most important issues for City of Park Ridge government, and ones that also have some effect on the electrical service to the extent that reductions in tree trimming spending may have contributed to the downed power line situation.

But we encourage you to show up tonight and voice your disappointment in the mayor’s handling of ComEd.

1134…you are right. I did not pay enough attention to the Com Ed issue. I took their word that they were investing in infrastructure improvements but I did not follow up on it. That is my fault. I plan to do better.

Mayor Dave:

Thanks for the reply. Two things come to mind:

1. If what you say is true then the 6.5 days without power I experienced over the last 30 days will have been worth it!!

2. Forgive me if I do not take you at your word on this one. Rather than words, I will be watching your actions and results very closely. Ya see I read your words on your web site 2 years ago when you were running for Mayor. It (infrastructure) was one of my key issues and one of the reasons I voted for you. Look what it has gotten me so far.

EDITOR’S NOTE: “Infrastructure” is one of our key issues, too, which is why we’ve published several posts on electric power and flooding. There’s a meeting on electric power tonight, hopefully with some effective follow-up; and the City’s flood consultant is supposed to be issuing its report within the next few weeks, at which point the Flood Control Task Force will run with it. Are there any other “infrastructure” issues besides those?

Also, any “infrastructure” improvements of this nature are likely to cost beaucoup bucks, most likely requiring taking on additional bonded debt. How much additional property tax (percentage, please) would you be willing to pay to service such “infrastructure” debt?

The latest power outage was the largest single power outage in recent memory cause by mother nature – why is that ComEd’s fault and why is it the Council’s responsibility to manage someone that reports to the Illinois Commerce Commission? Yelling at some gov’t affairs rep for two hours is going to solve the issue? Everyone get a grip.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Are you saying that you have first-hand knowledge that this latest outage was solely “Mother Nature’s” fault, and not aided and abetted in any way by faulty, worn-out, poorly-maintained, or insufficiently-upgraded ComEd equipment?

Yes — that is what I am saying. Absent the storm, would the power have gone out? And, again, if you don’t like what ComEd is doing or think that they should upgrade their system — take it up with the ICC – not the City Council. All tonight will be is a BI&^% session for people to vent. The Mayor can make or break all the promises he wants — he has no authority or leverage to do compel ComEd to do anything. Where in the City Code does the Council have the ability to require ComEd to do anything — if anything, they should dig out the franchise agreement and see what that says…

EDITOR’S NOTE: Nice try at weaseling out of the question, but it wasn’t whether the storm was a cause of the outage but whether it was the sole cause. Tonight’s hearing also raises the possibility that the City Council might decide to “take it up with the ICC” on behalf of its citizens, which the Illinois Supreme Court recently suggested might be the only recourse a municipality has against ComEd.

1250, you are right. I ran on a few issues, and infrastructure was a major one. I think there has been demonstrable improvement on the budgetary and transparency issues, but the infrastructure issue is lagging somewhat.

I already admitted losing sight of the Com Ed issue, but I have been focused on the flood control issue, and there has been progress there as well, although there is much more to be done. Sewer maintenance has improved, and there was a plan in place to address certain flood prone areas of town, but the prior Council voted to cut funding for it this year. I am hoping the new Council will reaffirm flood control as a priority.

I agree on Com Ed needing to tend to their infrastructure in PR- 500k is like peeing outside in a storm. But the City never tree-trimmed in the backyards where the power lines are, so any knuckle-head that ties those two issues together is, well…..a politician.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Actually, Sammy, we recall seeing a number of alleys where the adjacent power lines are directly impacted by “backyard” trees. We do not know, however, whether or not the City ever trimmed those trees. Do you?

The knuckle-heads here will say anything they think will help Mayor Schmidt’s Tea Party agenda. Mayor Schmidt will keep on apologizing for his failures and the bloggers here will keep making up stories to defend their Tea Party agenda.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We’ve never heard the mayor endorse the Tea Party, whatever that really is; or the Tea Party agenda, whatever that really is. As far as an elected official apologizing for mistakes and failures rather than dissembling and passing the buck, we think that’s a good thing.

You don’t have to be a teabag to want your money’s worth from a vendor or an employee your tax dollars are paying.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Or a “teabagger.” And you don’t have to be either to want a smaller, less-expensive, and less ambitious government such as would have resulted had the bi-partisan Simpson-Bowles Commission recommendations been adopted by Congress and the White House.

Mayor Schmidt supports the Tea Party and the agenda like the bloggers here do. Mayor Schmidt and his Tea Party bloggers here do not understand the first thing about governing and economic management. All they can do is say “No”. That is why Mayor Schmidt is called Mayor “No”. Also, the Simpson-Bowles Commission never issued a report or recommendations.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Mayor Schmidt can speak for himself re whether he supports the Tea Party. While we agree with some positions taken by people claiming to represent/speak for the/a “Tea Party,” we disagree with other of its/their positions.

We read somewhere that “No” is the most powerful word in any language, and is what gives “Yes” meaning – a theme that dates back at least as far as Sophocles and his play “Antigone.”

But before you read “Antigone,” you should read the “Simpson-Bowles Commission” (a/k/a The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibilty and Reform) report and recommendations in a document called “The Moment of Truth,” which can be found at

ComEd has in the past, trimmed the trees in my alley. They do a butcher job of it but, they get it trimmed… However, the last two outages that we’ve had were caused by larger trees that were empty/rotten in the middle falling over. Is that ComEd? The City? The home owner? Doesn’t the city have a forestry department? What the hell are we paying that department for if they aren’t inspecting the tree’s of the city?

EDITOR’S NOTE: Good question.

Just to clarity, are you saying that you would want the changes to the tax code/policy contained in the S/B document to be implemented??

EDITOR’S NOTE: No, we would like to have seen the Simpson-Bowles recommendations subjected to serious Congressional debate to see which, if any, of them deserved to be implemented. Instead, they were merely dismissed for political expediency because both the Demo-brats and the Republican’ts seem to prefer posturing to serious debate of legitimate recommendations. But let’s get back to City of Park Ridge business and leave Simpson-Bowles to the Beltway crowd.

Your answer was exactly what I expected. By the way, sorry for mentioning something out of PR but you brought it up.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Sorry we’re so easy for you to figure out – although if you’ve been reading this blog for more than a few weeks it shouldn’t be all that tough.

The Simpson-Bowles “report” you linked to was a preliminary proposal from the cochairmen of the commission because they couldn’t get 14 of their 18 members to agree on recommendations. The report you linked to was never voted on as required by the mandate for the commission. It is not an official report. It is just two old guys with some wacky ideas they put up. It reminds me a lot of the bloggers here. Either you don’t have a clue about what you are talking about or you are deliberately misleading people here. Either way it is business as usual for Tea Party types.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Not surprisingly, you’re wrong again. The Executive Order that established the S-B Commission provided as follows:

Sec. 5. Reports.

(a) No later than December 1, 2010, the Commission shall vote on the approval of a final report containing a set of recommendations to achieve the mission set forth in section 4 of this order.
(b) The issuance of a final report of the Commission shall require the approval of not less than 14 of the 18 members of the Commission.

So the report was “final.” But because it got only 11 votes of the 14 (out of the 18 members) needed for “issuance” it was not issued.

What is this hang up with Tea Partiers. Isn’t being against runaway deficits and wasteful government spending a good thing?


You my friend get the oversimplification of the day award!!!

Thanks 1157. Does the award come with a crumpet that I can serve at my next tea party?

Some of the bloggers here might believe the Tea Party is about deficits and government waste. The rest of the people in the world with brains that work know the Tea Party is a nothing but a bunch of morons. What is going on with the debt ceiling is proof of how much the Tea Party representatives are morons. The GOP is being ruined by the Tea Party.

EDITOR’S NOTE: “[T]he Tea Party is a nothing but a bunch of morons” is an insightful statement. Will you follow it up by calling them “doody heads.” With that kind of analyis, you could probably serve in Congress.

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