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Editorial - Power outages for three days is hardly magnificent

 Oak Lawn Trustee Alex Olejniczak has had a few pet projects during his tenure—the most significant being holding ComEd responsible for improved service.

There’s no question that Olejniczak’s 2nd District has been hit the hardest by continued power outages, including one last year that left many residents without power for three days.
The outages are not limited Olejniczak’s district. There are other pockets of town that have gone without electricity for significant periods of time over the past several years. It’s an ongoing problem for Oak Lawn.
The 2nd District trustee believes the crux of the problem is ComEd’s aging infrastructure. He wants the village to file a formal complaint with the Illinois Commerce Commission to light a fire under the feet of ComEd to make some significant changes. He also wants the company to be pro-active instead responding after power goes out.
The village board was expected to discuss filing an ICC complaint at Tuesday’s committee-of-the-whole meeting, but one trustee who does not favor the move is Mike Carberry, who represents the 5th District.
At the March 26 village board meeting, Carberry expressed support for ComEd. He described them as a great partner who does a good job responding to complaints.
“I think they do a magnificent job,” Carberry said.
We strongly disagree. Power outages happen, but not at the rate they’ve happened in Oak Lawn. Residents should not go without electricity for hours or even days at a time. They should not fear surges that can damage expensive electronics and appliances. Power outages have become the norm in some parts of the village, and Olejniczak is right to demand that ComEd up its game. Trustees should at least consider an ICC complaint if that’s what it takes.
Outages may not happen as frequently in some parts of town, including Carberry’s district. But the trustee owes it to all Oak Lawn residents to support measures that bring pressure to bear on the utility. The company must not be let off the hook.