The first round in the bout between the city and FPL is now over, with both sides claiming victories. Of the four complaints brought by the city – which feels FPL did not properly maintain power lines prior to Hurricane Irma hitting – only one will advance to mediation set for June: that the city can seek damages for FPL’s slow response to Irma.
While that seems like a 3-to-1 for FPL, Gables city attorney Miriam Ramos says last month’s hearing was a ‘big win’ for the city for two reasons. First is the fact that a circuit court judge took jurisdiction of the case, rather than handing it over to Florida’s Public Service Commission (FPL has big sway with the PSC). Second, one of the claims was dismissed because FPL admitted to the judge that it was their sole responsibility to maintain the vegetation that downed so many wires. FPL says that Gables residents resist their attempts to trim. Which is no wonder if you’ve ever seen how FPL “trims” trees.