MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Most MLGW customers don’t think the utility company is making necessary changes to provide reliable service, according to a poll of likely voters conducted by Emerson College for News Channel 3.
Out of 600 likely voters, 27 percent said yes but nearly twice as many, just over 54 percent, said more needs to be done. 18 percent of voters were not quite sure.
MLGW serves more than 440,000 customers, so you can expect just as many opinions surrounding the utility giant.
Jackie Cohen and her roommate Abbey O’Connor are living on their own for the very first time. This is also their first time having to deal with delayed billing.
“You should do a better job at taking your customers into consideration and understanding where they are coming from,” Cohen said.
“At least put out a notice and say we are a month behind, but this is how we are going to fix it,” said O’Conner.
They made a stop at the downtown office Wednesday. Directly across the street, the Board of Commissioners with MLGW CEO Doug McGowan were wrapping up the latest board meeting.
“Our team has done more restoration and maintenance work on this system this year, then we have ever done in our history,” McGowan said.
The utility company is governed by a Board of Commissioners nominated by the city’s mayor. But in less than two months, Memphis will have a new mayor as Jim Strickland is term-limited and cannot seek re-election.
This could result in a shakeup.
Commissioner Mitch Graves, who joined in 2016, says politics aside, he and the others remain resolute.
“Politics don’t need to be involved in MLGW. The last two CEOs, JT before and Doug, those guys come with engineering background. They aren’t political appointees. This company needs to be run by someone who has that expertise,” Graves said.
Customers like Dennis Lynch are in agreement.
“It’s tough and I know the public is not always happy, but it seems to me MLGW has done a great job as good as possible considering the situation,” Lynch said.
Some customers argue MLGW is not meeting the needs of the public, essentially leaving them in the dark, but those on the other side say they have a positive perception, with meetings like this being the surge needed to build customer trust.
“Reliability is our number one issue,” Graves said.