LTE: Balancing safety and action on the Light Commission

To the editor:

 

I have followed the worsening scientific projections and actual events of global warming, specific threats to Marblehead, and the response of the Marblehead Municipal Light Department. Some letter-writers have warned about moving too fast to meet these challenges. From what I have seen, the greater danger is in moving too slowly.

MMLD has great staff, with excellent response times for outages. But, from what I have seen — and I have attended Light Commission meetings — there has been inadequate planning and execution.

We must electrify and get off fossil fuels as quickly as possible while keeping rates as low as possible. Safely, but quickly. Doing so requires not just competent commissioners and a competent general manager, but also the cooperation of every Marblehead resident.

Marblehead electricity rates are based on our peak usage during just a few hours of the year, typically during summer heat waves. As residents, we are capable of participating in an active plan to “shave the peak” in order to keep rates low for everyone.

We have been told by MMLD that too many households adding electric vehicle chargers can blow out transformers for an entire block because there is no process to add car chargers safely. But communication between MMLD and town residents about this issue has been almost non-existent.

“Business as usual” and “go slow” are advocated by some candidates and their proponents.

In contrast, Lisa Wolf and Adam Smith — who currently serve on the board and have the experience and qualifications to do the job — have demonstrated the ability to tackle the complex balance between safety and action. They need our support to continue their work to move MMLD forward to meet the energy and climate challenges our town faces.

 

Sincerely,

Frank Kashner
Marblehead