Friday, April 10, 2009

Eric Massa Town Hall Meeting Full of Surprises

Last night I attended a Town Hall style meeting with New York's 29th congressional district representative Eric J. J. Massa held in Pittsford, NY. It appears that these town halls are somewhat regular and a place for constituents to air their complaints to Washington via their conduit Mr. Massa. Tonight was no exception.

There were probably around 40 to 50 people in attendance and many topics of discussion were raised including the future of Medicaid and concerns about the shootings in Binghamton earlier in the week.

Then a student (presumably from RIT) broke the ice with regard to Time Warner's proposed usage caps. This got the room buzzing. Eric Massa re-iterated his stance that he is doing and will continue to do everything in his power to prevent the caps from being put in place. He feels it will hamper the area's economy in a time when the last thing we need is to slow down an already stagnant economy.

I stepped out for a moment to answer a phone call and 30 seconds after I returned three representatives of Time Warner Cable stood up and identified themselves. One representative (shown on the right in my friend Randy's blog post) attempted feebly to assuage the sudden air of rage that seemed to fill the vast auditorium by announcing that very recently they have released an updated statement with "improved" tiers after listening to customer feedback.

Two gentlemen near the front center were practically ready to jump out of their chairs and throttle this Time Warner executive and I don't blame them. Mr. Massa did what any diplomat would do and attempted to difuse the situation by volunteering to set up an open discussion with Time Warner and all stakeholders including Frontier and the people of Rochester. I'm looking forward to that meeting with great anticipation.

The elderly gentleman in front of me turned around at one point and stated he was surprised at the turn in conversation -- he didn't expect the Time Warner issue to come up at all much less be a big deal.

The best part however was even face to face with the Time Warner exec, Eric Massa stood tall and strong and firmly stated that he would bring down the full power of 100+ members of Congress to prevent Time Warner from implementing these caps unless they can address the concerns of himself and all his constituents to his and our satisfaction.

Well done Mr. Massa. Well done!

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