Sunday, March 15, 2009

Unitil Farts on Frozen Customers

Another slow Saturday special!

"Unitil CEO gets performance award; Customers, legislator stunned after utility's response to ice storm" by Erin Ailworth, Globe Staff | March 14, 2009

The chief executive of Unitil Corp., the utility widely criticized for its response to a December ice storm that left thousands of Greater Fitchburg area customers without electricity for up to two weeks, recently was awarded nearly $300,000 for outperforming his 2008 job goals, financial documents filed yesterday show.

Unitil spokesman Wesley Eberle would not comment on the payment, which helped bump Robert G. Schoenberger's total annual compensation to nearly $1.3 million....

Eberle defended Schoenberger's leadership, citing his reputation as a top executive in the business world, as well as the company's recent acquisition of Northern Utilities and a planned rate decrease....

I'll believe it when I see it!

News of the extra payment angered Unitil customers and government officials, who called the utility's actions "unconscionable," given its performance following the storm.

"I think they are a deplorable company that does not deserve to be the utility provider for our region," said Cathy Clark, a Lunenburg resident who lost power for 11 days and started a petition against Unitil.

Unitil is under investigation by the state Department of Public Utilities for its response to the Dec. 11 storm that downed trees and wires across a wide swath of Massachusetts, but hit the Fitchburg area particularly hard - 28,000 customers were left without electricity. Robert Keough, a spokesman for the state's Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, which oversees the public utilities department, declined to comment on Schoenberger's pay.

Despite the rancor customers directed at Unitil, a person familiar with the utility's operations, who asked to remain anonymous because he is not authorized to speak on its behalf, said company response to the storm was not dramatically bad or good, given the extreme circumstances. The person also noted Unitil's stock has performed relatively well....

And THAT is what is REALLY IMPORTANT!! Screw freezing your asses off, ratepayers.

In December it acquired Northern Utilities, a natural gas utility serving customers in Maine and New Hampshire. It also acquired Granite State, an interstate natural gas pipeline.

Still, more than a dozen customers have filed a class-action lawsuit against Unitil in Worcester Superior Court, seeking compensation for temporary housing and other expenses, as well as property damage incurred during the storm.

The storm cost Unitil an estimated $10 million in repairs and replacement of damaged electric-distribution systems, or about half of its annual operating income, according to filings. Company officials have called the storm one of the worst it has experienced....

Awww, poor Unitil -- except for the CEO, of course!!!

Oh, and F*** YOU, Bay-Stater!

For customers like Clark, the changes are coming too late: "Can you put a laugh in the paper?" she said.

No, but the paper is good for laughs (and bird-cage linings) every day!

"The point is that this company pays million dollar salaries to their top executives while they have an employee base of 300 people to service 28,000 in Massachusetts. . . . It's greed at it's finest. In this economy it's not acceptable."

Here are a few ways to solve that problem

Hang the Hedge-Fund Managers

"Death to the Bankers!"

The Chinese Solution to Wall Street's Woes

China's Cure For Corruption

The Indian Solution to Wall Street's Woes

No Bailout ! "They Will Kill You!

Then let us EAT 'EM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In addition to Schoenberger, three other Unitil executives also received awards for exceeding 2008 job goals. Their payments ranged from about $77,000 to $101,000, filings show.

"Where do I begin?" said Representative Stephen DiNatale, a Fitchburg native, expressing his displeasure at the awards. "This would be just one more assault and insult to the customers they claim to care about."

Welcome to AmeriKa, folks -- where PROFIT-GOUGING CORPORATIONS and CORPORATE LOOTERS have a HOME!!!!!


Also see

A Slow Saturday Special: Statehouse Slush Fund

Another Slow Saturday Special: Madoff's Guilt

Another Slow Saturday Special: The Mun Murder

Another Slow Saturday Special: The Lord of War

Slow Saturday Special: Obama's Shield

Slow Saturday Special: Iraqi Surge of Violence

Slow Saturday Special: An Editorial Insult

Slow Saturday Special: Madoff's Money

Slow Saturday Special: Talk With Hamas

You get the point, right, readers?