Basking in the warm glow this morning, thanks to the PMLP

9 Feb

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

plmpJust sitting with some java this morning,  warm and comfortable, looking out the window at the winter wonderland, and feeling very grateful that Peabody’s power needs are NOT supplied by National Grid or one of these other gigantic power entities.

Once again, the lights are on, Peabody. And I can’t ever recall, in the 45-plus years I’ve lived in the city when I’ve awoken to a dark, cold house.  I can’t ever recall our lights going off for extended periods of time, like will be the case for some people in Southeastern Mass., who might not get power back for days following this latest super snowstorm.

Not during this storm. Not during the Blizzard of 2005, or hurricanes or other acts of nature. Not even during … drumroll please … the BLIZZARD OF ’78.

So, as we all electronically hold hands on this fine Saturday morning, let us all gaze upon Edison’s invention and say “THANK YOU” to the folks who run the Peabody Municipal Light Plant.

PLMP rocks, and it never lets us down. Why?  Because it is a government entity that is managed like a private business. Those who run the PLMP are hired for their qualifications and experience, and are not political appointees. They don’t report to city councilors or the Mayor. They are governed by an elected board of Light Commissioners, who simply oversee while allowing actual power plan professionals to run the business. It’s the ultimate example of how the private sector and the public sector cam can come together and make something work for the taxpayers.

If you live in the “sensible center” of the political spectrum, you quickly realize that too much goernment involvement usually leads to disaster, but not enough isn’t a great thing either. This is why PLMP works.

So, as you glow in the warmth this morning, be happy you live in Peabody, and as a taxpayer be proud that your city owns the PLMP.

49 Responses to “Basking in the warm glow this morning, thanks to the PMLP”

  1. Amy Giammarco-Moquin February 9, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

    LOVE my PMLP! They were one of the factors I used when choosing to buy a home 15 years ago. My suggestion to anyone looking to purchase a home in near future…… consider Peabody. Great property taxes, and you will have power 99.98888% of the time.

  2. Anonymous February 9, 2013 at 12:37 pm #

    I agree. It’s a great example of what can happen when government steps aside and lets professionals from the private sector run this more like a business. Hats off to the entire staff at PMLP.

  3. Anonymous February 9, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

    Should run everything in government more like a business and we would not have all of the problems when it comes to waste and dysfunction we have right now.

    • Light Plant fan February 9, 2013 at 12:45 pm #

      Bob you are right on! The PMLP runs well because it is run like a business. I know. I have worked there for years. Nice to see elected officials get out of the way.

  4. Anonymous February 9, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

    Why cant we run more things like a business taxpayers would be so much better off!!!!!

  5. Anonymous February 9, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

    The light plant is a government run entity that runs BETTER than a business. The people who work there are lifelong public servants.

  6. Anonymous February 9, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

    The light plant is run by people who have a private sector outlook and experience. People who are lifelong government people screw everything up and most people feel that way.

    • Anonymous February 9, 2013 at 2:15 pm #

      Why do you think that public workers can’t be good workers?

  7. Anonymous February 9, 2013 at 1:54 pm #

    Power did go out in ’78, but that was not unexpected for the times and it was before the new power plant was built.

  8. Anonymous February 9, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

    “Because it is a government entity that is managed like a private business.”

    That’s a load of crap. It’s a public business being run by the government and its run well because the people have a STAKE in the business being run well.

    Every time something in our government is run well, the right (or the conservatives) want to claim it for themselves as being “run like a private business”. It’s such a load of crap.

    It’s run well because people care about it, and the people working for it take pride in what they do, its STILL A PUBLIC RUN ENTITY.

    • Harry Birmingham February 9, 2013 at 2:10 pm #

      You can not deny their great record of service with any one or more areas or any past full city black outs taking place locally or in the state as it is and have taken place in past years can you? I know what I’m taking about having lived in Peabody for some 58 years and now living in N.H. where the lights do go out often because of storms ,etc.

      • Anonymous February 9, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

        No one is denying its record of service. It is a well run PUBLIC entity!

      • Anonymous February 9, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

        It is a well run PUBLIC entity!

    • Anonymous February 9, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

      Yeah right. MBTA is a domain for government hacks and patronage and we are hearing today that it might be shut down through Monday. The government is horrible at running stuff. Look at the Post Office as Example No. 1. Thank God most people see this. The Peabody elected officials who long ago knew that the city should not run the light plant and it should be turned over to people who know how a business is run had great vision.

      • Anonymous February 9, 2013 at 2:21 pm #

        Do tell how it is only good governmental entities are run like businesses and those you do not like are not? Have you ever thought that as in the private sector wherein some businesses are successful and others are not, some parts of government run well while others do not?

      • Anonymous February 11, 2013 at 7:32 pm #

        You are aware the post office would be in the black were it not fora certain health care regulation passed by republicans, right?

      • Anonymous February 16, 2013 at 9:40 am #

        The Democrats had control when the vote for the Future Pension Funding was passed.@ ANON 2/11 7:32pm

  9. Bob Croce February 9, 2013 at 2:33 pm #

    PMLP is most definitely run well because it is run like a private business with government oversight. No matter how much you say it, you’re just wrong with your facts if you say it isn’t. Sorry, Anon 1:57, but you are 100% wrong with your facts, so I need to call you out on it.

    The PMLP is a great example of how government and the private sector need each other. It’s not a “conservative” concept to say so. It’s called common sense.

    Allowing government officials to make all of the decisions without leaning on expertise from private or public sector experts, is a bad idea. The reason it’s a bad idea is that elected officials are not vetted and “hired” because they are experts in a given area. They are voted in based on popularity. And while I definitely support the Democratic process, if I’m elected to the City Council this fall, I’m going to solicit the opinion of qualified people before making decisions on issues I’m not expert in.

    An earlier poster references the MBTA and the Post Office as classic examples of how government can mess things up when it runs things based on patronage and ideology, rather than good business acumen.

    In Peabody, not only are we seeing the right way to do it with the PMLP, but we have a Mayor who understands that responsible business and responsible development is the way to expand our commercial tax base and help government rebuild infrastructure and find revenue to improve schools. Taxing citizens into oblivion is the worst way to run a society. The poorly run hacko-rama that is the MBTA is just one of the reasons why our governor is now asking for a huge tax increase on middle class working people.

    Our Founding Fathers’ vision was for the private sector and the public sector to work together to achieve things for the common good. The PMLP would make those Founding Fathers smile, and I think all of our Light Commissioners — both past and present — would agree with me on that one.

    • Anonymous February 9, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

      The people who make the decisions at the PMLP work for the GOVERNMENT. Everyone who works for the government has to make decisions as to how they do their day to day job. They do a great job of it, but they are still working for the GOVERNMENT.

      • Anonymous February 9, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

        Doesn’t matter who they work for Anon. YOU DO NOT GET IT. The reason is works is because the government let’s qualified businessmen run it. They do not put some political “appointee” in charge. They let the professionals handle it and that is why we have such low rates.

      • Anonymous February 9, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

        To Anon below, you don’t get it. Most of the people who run the PMLP have worked in the public sector their whole lives. Working in the private sector is not a magic spell for being a good worker. You just assume people are “hacks” when most local government workers are just trying to do their jobs and get by like the rest of us.

  10. redel17 February 9, 2013 at 2:41 pm #

    Lived here ten years and only had one power outage last longer than 1/2 hour ,… and that was when a truck wiped out a power pole at the corner of the street in a snow storm two years ago. Thank you PMLP and all the dedicated workers.

  11. anonymous February 9, 2013 at 3:56 pm #

    Isn’t it funny how the city of Peabody wanted to take more control of the electric light plant. If it was run like the city, our electric rates would have soared, the service would be reduced and we’d probably lose the discount. Thank your lucky stars that didn’t happen.

  12. Anonymous February 9, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

    It is a hybrid. It is government owned but it is run like a private business. If the MBTA ran that way we would not be getting fleeced by those hacks when it comes ro ridiculous taxes.

    • Anonymous February 9, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

      How is it run like a private business? Because they charge for their services? Please explain.

      • Anonymous February 9, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

        It is run like a private business when it comes to planning and strategy, and decision making. When government runs any entity they worry more about patronage and doing favors, and not doing things like pissing off unions. Light plant is run like it is a business accountable to stockholders. In this case we the taxpayers are the stockholders.

      • Anonymous February 9, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

        Below. Almost all the light plant workers are in unions. The taxpayers are the stockholders in all government entities from schools to the water department. Of course the municipality and its workers want to provide a good product. The light plant has more independent control because it raises its own revenues.

  13. the Outfrtont Guy* February 9, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

    OG says….who cares “how” it’s run…it works the way things are presently managed and my power works…I have no patience to banter over this issue like some of you feel a need to do….our Editor is correct in that we are lucky to have a well run PMLP service and that’s how OG sees it.

    • Bob Croce February 9, 2013 at 5:03 pm #

      Thanks, OG. I don’t understand the contention here either. Shouldn’t we just be happy that they do a great job at the PMLP? And … what the heck is wrong with borrowing sound business practices from the private sector? Sounds like there’s some anti-business attitudes going on here for some strange reason.

      • Anonymous February 9, 2013 at 6:55 pm #

        No, an anti-government attitude perpetuated by the editor. The PMLP is great.

  14. Anonymous February 9, 2013 at 9:31 pm #

    I’l tell you what’s wrong. You can’t pick and choose government entities when you feel its helpful to your ideals. Anything that is paid for by tax payers dollars is PUBLIC, you can spin it how you like, or tell us “well the town lets business people run it.” Not only is that absurd, its incorrect. The people that work at the place are PAID FOR BY TAX PAYER DOLLARS ANY BY THE FEES.

    They are not run “like a business” simply because they are not reporting to share holders, owners or investors and are not required to turn a profit.

    Let’s be clear about something. A government is NOT suppose to be a profitable business. Its completely against what the purpose of the government is.

    I laughed hard reading Bob Croce’s diatribe, when he said…

    “Our Founding Fathers’ vision was for the private sector and the public sector to work together to achieve things for the common good.”

    Ummm.. no Bob, thats actually not what the founding fathers had in mind. What they had in mind was to setup a government that was paid for, elected by, and managed by THE PEOPLE — a true democracy. There is no mention of “business” in any of their doctrines and it’s pretty well know that “capitalism” is not suppose to be part of the government process.

    Stating that the PMLP is better because “its run like a business” could be said for a LOT of the things your town does, yet, its still a “public service”.

    Water, trash remove, mail, plowing, education, parks and recreation… the list goes on, regardless of how the town decides to have your services rendered to you — you still pay for it and its GOVERNMENT. It’s not suppose to make money and be a “for profit” entity.

    If you mince words and say, “well, they are having a private company manage that entity”.

    So what? It’s still a public service.

    • Anonymous February 10, 2013 at 12:53 pm #

      Wow Throw a net over this person. Very angry and bizzarre rant here. How does this person get through the day without offing themselves

    • Anonymous February 11, 2013 at 7:33 pm #

      Amen. This.

  15. Anonymous February 9, 2013 at 9:33 pm #

    And nobody is anti-business. But don’t blend the two — just like religion should be separate, so should business.

    • Anonymous February 9, 2013 at 11:10 pm #

      PMLP runs well because politicians stay out of it. I do not even know why that would be debated. Last commentator is obviously a lazy hack who works for some government agency. Funny funny s tuff. The shareholders are the taxpayers. This is very true. The last commentator is obviously anti business and wants taxpayers to pay for everything to support her hack job.

  16. Anonymous February 9, 2013 at 11:13 pm #

    Light plant is run by solid business guys hired by a publicy elected board of directors called Light Commissioners. It is pretty close to how private corporations work and everyone who has ever served as a Light Commissioner would agree with this.

  17. Mahutma February 9, 2013 at 11:42 pm #

    Bob looks like your blog has been taken over by anti biz socialist creeps.

  18. anonymous February 10, 2013 at 9:08 am #

    Just sitting here laughing at some of these comments. The PMLP is awash with cash. Does that means it’s well run? Are you going somewhere else to buy your electricity? It runs well because at certain levels of management they have to hire competent engineers and workman to run the system. These people truely know how to run the bricks and mortar of the PMLP. They are not political hacks. But let’s not think for one minute that the rest of the operation isn’t staffed with political patronage.
    Look at the PMLP attorney who is part of Ankeles, BONFANTI, law office. There are commissioners getting family members and friends jobs. Let’s not even talk about the “commissioners” who take credit for the PMLP running smoothly. These people do very little and the board should be done away with. The PMLP does run well, does make a profit and should be commended for having no power outages during the storm. But please stop with the naivete about whose working there.

    • Bob Croce February 10, 2013 at 10:40 am #

      I agree with you on a lot of points here. There is patronage in everything that is connected to government (and sometimes business). That’s life, and it’s not only common to Peabody. It’s everywhere in America, but it’s also sort of an occupational reality. My main point is that the PMLP is well run in spite of how government sometimes operates. Rates are low. The lights stay on. What else more could the taxpayer want? And the reason it is so well run is that, for the most part, it is run like a REAL private sector business way more than it is run like a government entity. It’s a good thing when it works.

      • Anonymous February 10, 2013 at 10:51 am #

        You insult every other factor of government when you say that. Lots of things in Peabody run well.

        Why do you want to be part of government by running for political office? Do you think your “business” perspective is better than those currently in office? Because that is insulting to those who are there, all of whom are involved in “business” in their personal lives. The others don’t go around putting down local government.

      • Bob Croce February 10, 2013 at 11:57 am #

        I don’t follow you at all. But please explain further, if you like. How is my commentating that the PMLP is run very well insulting to anyone or any thing? Clearly, your post here is politically motivated. But that’s OK. I allow people to do that. Thanks for reading.

  19. Anonymous February 10, 2013 at 12:19 pm #

    Well I think we all know now that that anon at 10:51 is a public sector employee. With a job for life and a pension …. LOL

    • Anonymous February 10, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

      Wrong. Try again.

  20. Anonymous February 12, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

    “Our Founding Fathers’ vision was for the private sector and the public sector to work together to achieve things for the common good.”

    Really like you Bob, but this line still has me laughing days later.

    • Anonymous February 12, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

      You are still “laughing” at this “days later?” You need a hobby son!

      • Anonymous February 12, 2013 at 7:51 pm #

        Are you sure it’s me that needs the hobby?

  21. Anonymous February 12, 2013 at 6:26 pm #

    Must not be many union households in Ward 5.

  22. Reilly M. February 12, 2013 at 7:13 pm #

    What does this discussion have to do with “union households?” You have lost us all last Anon. Please explain.

    • Been around February 12, 2013 at 8:48 pm #

      I think it was a shot at Bob, but there was nothing anti union bout what he wrote here. Does not matter anyhow. I have been around a while and think I have a pretty good feel for the Peabody political scene and right now I just do not see anyone out there who can beat Mr. Croce for this Ward 5 seat. I don’t live in the ward but I respect how he has positioned himself. No one even comes close in name recognition right now, and when you look at how many v otes he got at large last time it looks like he works his ass off. This seat is his to lose right now,

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