There’s a lot to be said about local services, especially municipal services during this winter storm.
But an important thing to say is — Thanks.
Thanks Gardner linemen, police and all the area public workers who plowed our streets, kept our electric on and did so with little complaint.
The good thing about local utilities, and other entities, is that the employees live and work in our community. They have a vested interest in keeping us warm and snug. They’re out pushing snow, spreading salt, climbing utility poles and keeping our homes and travel safe.
If anything, this snowstorm has brought it home. While Kansas City Power and Light customers are still without service — including Edgerton City Hall — two days after the storm; Gardner utility residents are mostly snug.
And if your electric does go out, residents can call a local number and get a response. Call KCPL, and after verifying you want to speak English, you’re routed to a phone queue which refers you to further phone prompts or the internet — which is difficult to maneuver when electric and internet are off.
It’s doubtful you will ever speak to a real person. Two days after the storm, KCPL customers are still cold and frustrated.
It’s similar to when area phones or internet go out. Customers are routed to large call centers who have no accountability or familiarity with our area. Same with national and global news; there’s little room for local items of interest; and no accountability.
Prior to the “business centralization” push of the 70’s and 80’s, there were small town newspapers, utility offices and phone companies. Now customers are routed to off shore call centers.
Were there problems when each town/region had their own office? Absolutely. But those problems could be resolved easier; just drive down the block, call city hall, or a neighbor. Or if all else fails, drive over to the the coffee shop.
That’s part of what makes our area such a great place to call home — good customer service and accountability to residents.
Thanks to all the public and private workers who kept roads plowed, utilities on and our neighborhoods safe.