HOULKA – Public Service Co
mmissioner Brandon Presley wants to hear your complaints.
Presley was in Houlka last week to listen to concerns about telephone service, water quality and natural gas and electricity bills.
“We do this to get input from you on what public utilities in this part of Mississippi are doing for their customers,” said Presley. “Every public utility company in this state comes and sits down before the commission once a year seeking a permit to do business with you. We like to have input from customers that tells us what kind of job they are doing. We take that information and try to get them to do a better job.”
Presley told of a small community in south Mississippi that is petitioning for better phone service. He pointed out customers contact him regularly with concerns about water quality. He said his office also gets lots of input on the high cost of electricity and natural gas.
Presley said the meeting in Houlka was the 93rd community meeting he had hosted since taking office and he has been in Chickasaw County – Houston and Okolona – three times.
“I also believe most real problems can be solved with common sense solutions,” said Presley. “I don’t get those kind of solutions from government agencies and utility companies. I do get them from these meetings.”
Twenty-five people showed up for the Oct. 8 meeting at the Houlka Community Center.
“My focus this year is quality utility service,” said Presley. “You don’t have a big choice when it comes to public utilities and the PSC is charged with protecting the public interest and getting utilities to do more for their customers.”
Presley said there is a big push to expand high-speed internet service to rural communities. He said his office is developing a list of rural residents who don’t have high-speed internet and is using that data to get tele-communication companies to build more towers, install more cable and serve the public.
“Can you imagine a business today that does not have access to the internet and can’t take a credit card,” said Presley. “And I’ll tell you one sadder than that – can you imagine the children growing up in homes that don’t have internet service.
“We’re talking developing businesses and providing better education opportunities for our children,” said Presley. “That’s why I want to hear from you.”
Presley said he can be reached in Jackson at 1-800-356-6428 or at his Nettleton office at 1-800-637-7722.
Last year the Public Service Commission received more than 13,000 consumer complaints and inquiries.
Presley is the commissioner for the Northern District of the three-member Mississippi Public Service Commission.
Presley served as the Mayor of Nettleton, from 2001, to 2007. He was elected Public Service Commissioner in 2007 and re-elected in 2011.