Editorial: Greenport owes residents an explanation

Greenport mayor David Nyce.
Greenport mayor David Nyce.

We continue to be amazed at the poor communication between the Village of Greenport and its residents regarding increases in customers’ electric bills.

First, in August, the village sent letters to ratepayers explaining that their balance would increase by between $7.75 and $10.69 per month due to a new agreement with the New York Power Authority.

Details about the contract and the increase were scarce, and very little discussion occurred in public session.

This time around, the village didn’t even bother to send out the letter, leaving customers astonished when they received bills this month on which the purchased power adjustment charges (the same line impacted in August) had doubled from the month before.

Customers we’ve spoken with who showed us copies of their electric bills said they’ve had a hard time getting a straight answer from the village explaining the increase.

So have we.

“There was an additional Independent Service Operator charge that happened this month and those additional fees are being passed on,” is essentially all the mayor has said about the issue, which was not even raised at Monday’s Village Board work session.

When we asked for clarification on what exactly that means or why it was not communicated to the public, the mayor had nothing else to say.

The village clerk, treasurer and outgoing administrator all seemed more interested in pointing a finger at their colleagues than giving an actual explanation. Maybe that’s because they don’t know the answer.

We hope this blasé attitude toward transparent government isn’t what residents of Greenport can expect from the lame duck mayor as he serves out the final 15 months of his tenure.

He was elected to do a job, and sharing essential information with his constituents is a critical part of it.