At a recent Commissioners meeting of Public Utility District #2, a small peek under the cloak that residents have been concerned about for several years has the makings of a more transparent Public Utility.
When it came down to the vote on how billing should appear for new service or "Line Extension Service" it was initially set up that the format would remain as a bulk line item on the billing invoice, and anyone who had questions about the charges could call a phone number. But during discussion, Commissioner Mike Swanson raised concern stating that he believed that residents would prefer an itemized billing process.
After the discussion, the commissioners voted that he was right and that future bills for new service or line extension service should be itemized.
This may seem like a small item in comparison to the many things that happen at the PUD - but it does feel like a small win for many residents that have had a negative impression of the PUD and the seeming approval by blinders approach to what a Public Utility is or should be.
There is still debate over the decade-long extension into Tokeland of which it is hard to explain what the eventual outcome will be once the PUD has provided power to an already existing community that is electrified. The cost of that project has come up annually with more dollars being thrown into the Tokeland abyss and no real outcomes save a never completed transmission line.
It is the power of the public, the first word in PUD that really makes a difference in how things will run in the future. And if not for commissioners like Mike Swanson looking out for the ratepayers, we all might just be paying for services that we never see or use.
It is important for residents to keep abreast with the activities of any public office that will impact our lives. Pacific County residents need to stay involved in the process.