Power plant sale could lower electric bills – Rocky Mount Telegram

Rocky Mount electric customers could see their bills slashed by as much as a third if negotiations are successful for Duke Energy to buy Eastern North Carolina cities’ ownership in power plants, a fellow at the University of North Carolina Center for Civil Rights said Monday.

But attorney Peter Hull Gilbert said the 32 cities in the N.C. Eastern Municipal Power Agency will have to play hard ball in the negotiations with Duke to accomplish this outcome. In a telephone interview Monday morning, he said he does not expect state regulators to force Duke Energy to buy the power agency’s $1.9 billion power plant debt.

“If this is going to have any positive impact on ratepayers, it’s going to depend on the price that Duke pays for these assets,” said Gilbert, who wrote a blog on the negotiations that was posted on the UNC School of Law’s website.

In that blog, he outlines Rocky Mount’s plight. “Rocky Mount, Wilson, and other small cities in Eastern North Carolina, bought large ownership shares of these power plants anticipating continued service to large industrial power users, but with the loss of manufacturing facilities across the region, there is smaller industrial demand,” Gilbert writes. “With the high power costs, these cities cannot attract new industry; even when new industry comes to the region they intentionally locate in areas served by Duke Energy or a cooperative rather than pay the higher municipal rates. The result is that the entire debt burden falls upon the predominantly low-wealth residents who can least afford to pay.” (Source: Read more)

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Video: A Moment In Education: Tarboro NC – Edgecombe County Public Schools Board Chooses John W. Edmondson Jr. To Fill Board Vacancy Until The People Vote In May 2014

First of all the board agenda 1st order of business was to open the meeting and then to go into closed session. Then they were to go back into open session and interview the candidates. And then after that they were to vote.

Next was Recognition on the agenda.

Rev. Roosevelt Higgs asked the board to change the Public Comments before the process of choosing the new board member. I was the other person to sign up along with Higgs.

Higgs talked about the make up of the District 7 has changed from a white majority to a black majority. He asked the board to consider replacing the vacancy with an African American.

I followed Higgs and stated that every time a vacancy come up we have this discussion about how the board should carry out doing the appointment process. I said I wanted to see the board allow us to see the candidates in action because I only know one of the candidates and that way I could learn more about the other person.

I could have come in and said I was there to support one person over the other but if I had the opportunity to hear both sides then I could make an informed decision.

Now a little history of the candidates. John W. Edmondson Jr. an Embarq employee has an office in Tarboro now versus working out of Greenville during the time he previously served on the board. Former board member Faye Taylor who recently resigned defeated Edmondson during the election 4 years ago. So obviously the people didn’t want Edmondson to represent them by the way they voted.

Faye Taylor served on the former Edgecombe County Social Services Board which was replaced with the new Edgecombe County Human Services Board until she recently resigned from that board also. Taylor and candidate Marva Scott Social Services Director bumped heads.

I don’t know Scott personally but I have read about her, talked to some folks who knows her both for and against her. I have attended one Human Services Board meeting and have not been able to attend others due to basketball games held on their meeting nights. But the meeting that I attended, I was very, very impressed with her presentation.

Scott had sued and won a lawsuit in a previous county where she was employed before she was hired in Edgecombe County. Scott was fired here in Edgecombe County while Taylor was on the Social Services Board. Scott won yet another lawsuit this time against Edgecombe County and she had to be re-employed with the county.

It appears that Scott is one smart damn black woman and obviously quite of few folks are intimidated by her black and white, male and female.

I have not attended a school board meeting in several months. I begin attending the meetings after basketball season ends. I will begin to attend both the School Board meeting and the Human Services Board meeting in March.

The vote tonight turned out just like I thought it would. I felt the vote would go just like it did. I was not surprised that Edmondson would receive all of the white votes. I also was not surprised that Edmondson would receive Dr. Evelyn Johnson and Evelyn Wilson votes because they along with the other white board members were on the board with Edmondson. I didn’t have an opinion of how the other black female Olga Dickens would vote because she had not served on the board with Edmondson. Dickens was appointed and then elected during the last election. Dickens was the only one to vote for Scott.

Now for my ignant damn opinion. I have much respect for Edmondson but I feel that listening to the interview, if I was able to comment I would have supported Scott. Why? Because if I was to grade the interview I would have to give Scott a higher grade. I feel Scott would bring more resources to the table and would be a greater asset to the board because of her profession. But I can’t tell it nor can the local newspaper tell the story better than the video that I will provide coming soon. The difference between the local newspapers and myself is I attend meetings, I video them and I give my opinion of what happened. I make the video available for those who do not attend the meeting to be able to watch the video and make an informed decision for themselves.

And for Edmondson and Scott because unlike the local newspaper reporters who get paid, I work for me without pay and because of my free services they both will be able to see themselves how they interviewed. On top of that during the interview session first Scott was asked to leave the room so she could not hear the interview of Edmondson. When Edmondson interview was over he was sent out to the same room that Scott was in.

Well there you have it, another moment in education.

Watch video of the meeting.

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Rocky Mount Telegram