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From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: misc.rural
Subject: Re: Yard Light goes off several times during the night.
Date: Sat, 04 Mar 2006 04:03:17 -0500
Message-ID: <>

On Fri, 03 Mar 2006 15:17:46 -0500, Goedjn <> wrote:

>Where I come from, CMP frowns (frowned?) mightily on your
>climbing the pole.   Even if you "own" it.

Here at least, they can frown all they like but short of successfully
seeking a court order, there isn't a thing they can do when the pole
is on my property.  I still have my lineman's gear, I can work at
night and though age has slowed me a bit, I can still get up and down
a pole fast enough not to attract any attention.  Sometimes utility
people get a little uppity and have to be reminded that they're not
the cops.

BTW, what is CMP?  Consumers Power?

>At one point, they even made us take the (switched) yard light OFF
>the pole, because they'd recently had a couple incidents of someone
>falling off and impaling themselves on property-owner-attached signs
>and things.

My approach would be (and has been) to take it down and then put it
right back up after they left.

There used to be a problem here with linemen ripping off and
destroying anything attached to a pole that they didn't like.  Then
some fellow took exception to that and swore out a criminal warrant
for destruction of private property.  And won.  And sued for
restitution and punitive damages.  And won.

The judges both took many pages of words to say, essentially, that the
proper way to deal with the problem is through civil process and that
vigilantism is not to be tolerated.

Now if a utility (usually) manager sees something he doesn't like on a
pole, he can write a huffin' and a puffin' letter to the property
owner.  Unfortunately most people are intimidated into removing the
item.  If not, then the only remedy is to sue for injunctive relief.

In a delightful twist of fate, our line crews are lectured
periodically during the weekly safety meetings about not tampering
with customer-owned equipment.  Of course, they're also told that if
the customer-owned equipment presents an actual hazard then they can
leave whatever it was they came to do undone.  If your power is off
and they need to climb that pole to fix it and your signs or whatnot
are interfering then your power stays off.

In the city here there is an ordinance against attaching signs to the
pole so in that specific case, the signs can be removed. At least
until someone sues them over it.


>Where I'm living now, I find that I can
>shut off the streetlight across the road by aiming a mag-light
>at it, but I'm only about 40' away, and higher than the light,
>so that may not work for normal people.
>In any case, the point *I* was trying to make was that the
>most likely reason for the lights not to be switched isn't
>that the power co. derives any actual benefit from them
>being on all night, but rather from the fact that that's
>the simplest thing for them to do.

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