Mary Jo Moore
To the editor:
I wish to respond to Bruce VanCompernolle’s comment on the City Council’s energy resolution (last Saturday’s Examiner, “Council moves too quickly on energy”). I am a member of the Eastern Jackson County Justice Coalition, a grass-roots organization dedicated to economic dignity and racial equity. For several months, we have been researching policies of the municipally-owned Independence Power and Light. Mr. VanCompernolle stated “the IPL has been successful in maintaining affordable rates.” Unfortunately this is not true. Both the residential and commercial IPL rates are considerably higher than investor-owned Kansas City Power & Light rates for people living in surrounding communities. This is documented in the city budget book.
According to the city budget last year there were 14,232 delinquent turn-offs or a 7 percent (nearly 1,000) increase over the previous year. This is about 28 percent of the 51,300 IPL residential customers, although some probably are turned off more than once per year. The high residential IPL rates are hurting our low-income neighbors, particularly the elderly, the disabled and those working at minimum-wage jobs.
I applaud the forward thinking of the City Council in passing Resolution 12-758. This says to me the council is willing to look to the future and how to best serve city residents.
I understand Mr. VanCompernolle has applied to serve on the IPL Public Utility Advisory Board. I am concerned Mr. Vancompernolle only represents a small constituency that wants to maintain the status quo. We need people on the PUAB who are interested in changing the IPL so it is more efficient and helping people who cannot afford their high utility bills.