September 17, 2020
EDITOR: During his tenure on the Bedminster Township Committee, Colin Hickey has shown by his actions that he will go to bat for Bedminster residents to protect their quality of life.
When complaints about the frequent and long-lasting power outages in Bedminster Township, particularly in The Hills, fell on deaf ears at JCP&L, Colin teamed with the home owners associations to reach out to the utility.
Collectively, this ad hoc committee invited the utility to appear at a Bedminster Township Committee meeting to hear public comments and answer questions. What began as a contentious discussion ultimately resulted in multiple technology upgrades that dramatically reduced the frequency and duration of power outages.
Another positive outcome is that Colin got JCP&L to agree to provide regular updates to the Bedminster Township Committee on ongoing technology improvements and their impact on power availability. Then tropical storm Isaias struck, causing widespread and long-lasting power outages that exposed several systemic issues – lack of maintenance spares, lapses in tree trimming, rotted poles, and more.
Throughout the power outage, direct updates from the power company were infrequent and inaccurate. Colin jumped in and communicated with JCP&L and kept residents informed of JCP&L’s progress and the Estimated Time to Restoration for each neighborhood.
On Aug. 27 at about 9:30 a.m., a vehicle hit a pole, again knocking out power to the same areas of Bedminster that were knocked out by Isaias. This outage was repaired quickly, but it was Colin who reached out to JCP&L for info and he relayed it to everyone in town.
In addition to successfully intervening with JCP&L, Colin continued to work with all utilities that serve Bedminster, and also the state Board of Public Utilities, to keep rate increases in check.
His focus on quality of life issues extends beyond public utility services.
He was also instrumental in the pop-up food pantry that ran during the Covid lockdown. Colin is definitely looking out for Bedminster residents tirelessly.
It is for these reasons, and many more, that I will be voting for Colin in November for re-election to Bedminster Township Committee.
JEFFREY S. LEONARD
This Letter to the Editor originally appeared in The Bernardsville News.