City To Take Bus Full Of Concerned Citizens To Austin - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


City To Take Bus Full Of Concerned Citizens To Austin

Tyler City Council member Chris Simons is leading the pack to Austin tomorrow.

So far, more than 30 people have signed up to go, and more than 20 of them are concerned citizens looking for some relief from their high CenterPoint gas bills. The city hopes those customers will make an impact before the Railroad Commission, whether they get the chance to speak.

"I want the railroad commissioners, when we get in there, during the hearing, to let them look at us and see us in the audience," Simons said.

One of those who will be in audience is Malinda Johnson.

"It's high time that we all get involved with the city of Tyler to do what's right," she said. "This is ridiculous the way it's going."

Both she and fellow Tyler resident George Haggerty have been CenterPoint customers for more than 40 years.

"We feel like that we're just being ripped off, Haggerty said. "It's just not right."

If the Railroad Commission allows Tyler citizens to speak at the hearing, Haggerty says: "I would like to be one of them. I'd make as many trips as it takes."

Mayor Joey Seeber says he won't be going to Austin tomorrow because he had already scheduled a personal commitment. But a team of attorneys will speak on behalf of the city. They'll get 20 minutes. And so will representatives for CenterPoint.

Simons is optimistic that the Railroad Commission will decide in favor of the city, even though last month, the hearings examiner recommended otherwise. However, the commission is not obligated to make a decision by tomorrow.

It's too late to reserve a seat on the bus to Austin, but it's not too late to go. The city of Tyler will take more passengers on a first-come, first-serve basis. Show up at 7:30 tomorrow morning at City Hall, located at 212 North Bonner. The city will release any unclaimed seats at 7:45 a.m. The bus leaves at 8. The trip is free, and lunch is provided. The bus will return to Tyler immediately after the 1 p.m. hearing.

Julie Tam, reporting.


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