City lawyers are blocking a public power study, despite support from the public and elected officials!
On May 23 at 5:30pm, Metro Justice will be holding a rally on the steps of City Hall to demand that City Attorney Linda Kingsley stop impeding the implementation study required to replace RG&E with a public utility that would lower rates, create good union jobs, and implement a clean energy transition. An independent legal analysis will be presented as part of the rally.
As the people of Rochester have suffered through the RG&E crisis, Metro Justice has been fighting to replace the multinational corporate management of RG&E that drains $100 million in profits a year from our region with a local public utility accountable to serving our communities. Such a transformative solution is complex and requires expert study.
For months now, Metro Justice has been working with both the City of Rochester and Monroe County governments on jointly funding an implementation study for a local public solution. Through building community power, Metro Justice has secured the support of a City Council majority for such a study, including Council President Miguel Melendez. At the County, both the Legislature President and Democratic Minority Leader support it. The Democratic State Delegation has also advocated for study funding.
Whose leadership are we missing? Mayor Malik Evans and County Executive Adam Bello. The city’s legal department is blocking Metro Justice’s study proposal, despite independent legal experts finding no valid basis for that. Metro Justice’s legislation is legal, thorough, and ensures the community real answers to the RG&E crisis. City Hall’s legal opinion is just a veiled excuse to block the study.
Already on March 24th Mayor Evans and City Council stated the need for a study, among other reasons, to reduce the burden of high energy bills for Rochester’s working families, but asked the NY Public Service Commission to do it. But the PSC only "regulates" RG&E from Albany, so that's not a real solution. Adam Bello also asked the PSC to deny RG&E’s proposed rate hike, but hasn’t taken action to study a local solution yet.
Metro Justice volunteer Robert Hoggard observed, “Our community has endured the RG&E crisis for too long already. If Mayor Evans and County Executive Bello really mean what they say, they need to take action and get their lawyers out of the community’s way. We expect the Mayor and County Executive to lead, do the right thing, and work with other electeds to get the study approved as soon as possible.”
30 Church St
Rochester, NY 14614
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