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UPDATED The name game

Submitted by on 1, January 16, 2009 – 12:21 pmNo Comment

Thursday night, the Public Utilities Board held its annualish planning workshop. Its main order of business: Figuring out a new name for the Island’s now telecom-less utility.

Instead of hiring a consultant, General Manager Girish Balachandran polled his staff, who came up with nearly three dozen suggested names for the newly single utility. The group then narrowed the choices down to seven to pass on to the board. (The reject list included Encinal Electric, Green Electrons Alameda, Alameda Volts and Jenney Electric Company, which I’m told is the company that Alameda hired to install a 90 kilowatt plant for street lamps back in 1885.)

After a fairly lively discussion that involved multiple colors of Post-It notes and a voting scheme far too complicated for this lowly reporter to explain, the board narrowed the choices down to four, plus a new one suggested by board member John McCahan.

And now, they’re asking for your help.

The Utility Soon to Be Formerly Known as Alameda Power & Telecom has posted an online poll listing the different name choices, with an opportunity for you to offer your own name suggestion. You’re supposed to type in your customer number to participate, so locals only, and no multiple votes!

The board members will consider the poll input when it picks a new name, which they’re expected to do at their January 26 meeting. Balachandran said putting the utility’s new name on letterhead, hard hats and trucks could cost upwards of $30,000.

The poll can be accessed directly here. And now – drum roll, please – here are your choices:

Alameda Green Power (They also had Alameda Green Energy, or AGE, which staffers feared would “invite teasing”)
Alameda Municipal Electric
Alameda Municipal Power (“AMP allows us to use charged puns,” the folks at the utility wrote)
Alameda Power (Potentially the cheapest option – they could just Wite-Out the “telecom” on their letterhead)
Alameda Community Power (This one was McCahan’s)

The utility has been known as Alameda Power & Telecom since August 1999. Before that they were known as the Bureau of Electricity, a name some folks have said they’d like to see return. Interesting fact: Bureau of Electricity is actually AP&T’s legal name. Alameda Power & Telecom is just a DBA.

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