Both Sides Shout At PUD Commission Meeting

February 16, 2016

Everett, Everett Government


As they came into the PUD building people filled out cards so their names could be called to speak.


Some pointed fingers…


This woman was cheered when she called for an audit of the PUD’s entire billing system.


At one point Commission President Toni Olson (far left) began raising her voice to the crowd.


This woman is disabled and on a fixed income. Her bill has doubled.


After she spoke at the meeting this woman met with customer service reps.

The special night meeting called by the Snohomish County PUD Commissioners was only about 2 minutes old when members of the audience began shouting LIAR! BOO! THAT’S NOT TRUE! to statements made by PUD assistant general manager Jim West regarding claims of a much colder winter this year and more guests during the holidays as reasons PUD customers have seen their bills go up compared to last year.

As West tried to bring the meeting under control one woman shouted, “With all due respect sir, you are insulting our intelligence.” With that the crowd roared.

West continued to try and get his points across that a change in software to allow more services to be provided along with a move to monthly billing were behind the larger bills and that to hire more meter readers or develop custom software would be too costly to PUD customers.

That didn’t sit well with the 200 plus people in the audience who continued to interrupt each other and the commissioners which led to board chair Toni Olson raising her voice at the crowd.

After a while order was restored and people who filled out speaker cards were called to the microphone one by one.

Some were calm, some were upset but almost all wanted to know how the PUD could justify estimating bills and how as long term customers their rates or kilowatt usage took a jump while neither their consumption patterns or the weather underwent a major change.

One man says bills are up 18-35% in his neighborhood. Another said his meter was not working for 2 months but still got a $400 bill.

The commissioners continued to urge people to meet with customer service representatives who were stationed in a room across the hall from the auditorium. They also promised to keep an open mind as they determined if they needed to review the software used in estimating and billing calculation.

About myeverettnews

My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring breaking news and events in Everett, WA. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live and work in Everett. It's written by Leland Dart a former Snohomish County based radio reporter born and raised in Everett.

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