MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The new CEO of Memphis, Light, Gas, and Water made his first appearance before City Council on Tuesday.
JT Young told council members he wants to earn back the trust of MLGW customers. He said he'll begin by taking a look at areas where MLGW can improve.
"I am still In a learning mode regarding what's been done with regards to reliability," Young said.
Council members pushed Young about MLGW's decades-old infrastructure.
Young said from what he sees, equipment failures at MLGW are tied to the equipment's age.
"One of the things I'm going to be focused on is making sure that infrastructure is upgraded to the point that it provides maximum value," Young said.
Young takes the reins at MLGW just after council members, in an eleventh-hour compromise, approved a 2 percent electric and gas rate hike for a portion of 2018. That approval came after weeks of back and forth between city council members and the utility company.
"Rate increases occur as a last resort rather than a first resort, but while we look at ways to improve our infrastructure and our reliability, we are going to look for efficiencies and opportunities to make sure that we can do that," Young said.
Young was officially sworn in as CEO later Tuesday morning by Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland.
Strickland said he believes Young can help improve the customer experience for MLGW customers.
"Like any entity and any person there's room for improvement, and I think his focus on customer service will translate really well to Memphis," Strickland said.