NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Dissatisfied with Con Edison’s slow response to Wednesday’s storm in Westchester County, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is questioning whether the utility company should keep its license.
Waiting for power to be restored has left some customers feeling powerless, and many are wondering: Where is the governor?
“Come here mister governor,” one woman said. “Help the citizens.”
“Please come and see for yourself,” another added.
“Use the power and influence of the state government to insure that your constituents and your voters have power at times like this,” said a man.
They want the governor to see all the downed power lines and hear their stories of what they’ve gone through.
During a phone call from Albany, CBS2’s Political Reporter Marcia Kramer asked Cuomo, who traveled to Puerto Rico three times to help restore power there, if he should visit Westchester County to “put the spotlight of your office on what’s going on.”
“It puts added pressure on power companies to perform,” Kramer added.
“Look, I am mister storm travel, as you know,” Cuomo replied.
The governor insisted he doesn’t actually have to be there for Con Ed to feel his wrath.
“I don’t apply pressure on them by standing in front of a home. I apply pressure on the utility companies by saying, ‘you will be penalized, you will be sanction,” he said.
To prove it, he upped the ante – threatening to yank the utility company’s license.
“I’m not married to you Con Edison,” he said. “I can revoke the license and the franchise and bring in someone new. I’ve done it before, I’m capable of doing it again. That’s pressure.”
After Superstorm Sandy, Cuomo was so frustrated with the Long Island Power Authority, he gave the license to PSEG Long Island. Some say he should do the same to Con Ed now.
“I feel that we need to get rid of this monopoly of Con Ed,” said New Rochelle resident Roger Rice. “He’s not married to them, well let’s get a divorce.”
Whether the governor actually says ‘sayonara’ to Con Ed remains to be seen. He needs to maintain a cordial relationship with the utility company and cooperation to repair subway signal problems, Kramer reported.
Asked to respond to Cuomo’s threats, a Con Ed spokesperson said the company’s focus is on restoring damaged infrastructure and getting every customer back in service.