AEP Exec VP and CFO Responds to Kay Joffrion, Mayor of Coleman, Texas
As of this hour, Mr. Brian Tierney, EVP and CFO of AEP has spoken directly to the Mayor of Coleman. I have been asked to stand down by our Mayor so that effective talks can begin again with AEP and the concern over high utility rates in the city of Coleman. Mr. Tierney called me directly this morning and was very upset over the public display on "his" company AEP. He also abruptly ended his call with me by telling me that I was not "his" client, that I am a total stranger to him, that Mayor Joffrion is "his" client and that I was not a shareholder nor customer of "his", and that the utility customers of Coleman were not "his" client either! He would "only" have discussions with our Mayor, and that I am never to speak or call his office again!.
So the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of this "transparent" company named AEP, has spoken on behalf of "his" public utility company! Mr. Akins, as Chairman and CEO of AEP, I will state on this site that AEP has NOT been transparent. It took multiple calls and numerous posts to call attention enough to your executive staff to return calls. Professional courtesy should have been displayed here on BOTH sides. The beauty of a publically traded company is the ability to use this media to get executives attention and shareholders attention when there is a potential problem. No one stated that this was all about AEP. The previous management of the city of Coleman is a fault here too! However, AEP's executives involved in this contract with Coleman, should be transparent with their conduct and the elements in the contract. AEP maybe the white knight here and no one knows it. But the actions of your executives to cooperate and deliver answers to the concerned citizens of Coleman was lack luster! You should council with your executives on how to handle an issue such as this, so that in the future, your EVP/CFO doesn't come across like an #$%$!
For several years the residents of the City of Coleman have asked questions about the AEP contracts. There have NOT been many answers. There have been confidential agreements where whomever was involved in whatever was done had to sign and not share information with the citizens and the people who pay the electric bills. What about that is fair, Mr. Tierney? Citizens were told lies and half truths by, in my opinion, both sides. Who insisted on this confidential agreement and why? The AG's office refused repeated FOIAs requesting information about these transactions, because the requests for transparency interfered with AEP trade secrets. So, I ask you Mr. Tierney, who is keeping what from the residents? Is it AEP? Is it the city attorney who recuses herself from direct negotiations based on a prior relationship with AEP BUT answers all the FOIAs dealing with AEP? Is it the new City of Coleman City Manager? Was it the former administration? Was it the 4A EDC representatives? Or is it the boogie man? As concerned citizens, we want answers to the questions we have asked for years. We are not saying it is all AEP's fault. What we want are open talks with both sides being honest and dealing with a problem that is keeping OUR community in a hostage stranglehold and leaving little if any room for growth. If it took Mr. Lagow to get us to this point, then shame on YOU, Mr. Tierney, for not caring enough after repeated requests from numerous residents for answers and for wanting that all mighty $$$$ instead of the compassion to see a rural community sink further and further in debt. Your community development group could have come in and spent some dollars in the community to make it better. When asked, we were denied. Just how much money has YOUR company spent in our community? Or is that also a trade secret?