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Tolland Manager Tells Staff To Hang Up On Foul Language-Callers

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(Getty Images)

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TOLLAND, Conn. (CBS Connecticut/AP) – The manager of one Connecticut town has instructed his staff to hang up on foul-mouthed residents who are fuming over persistent power outages.

Tolland Town Manager Steve Werbner told CBS Connecticut that he sent out an email to residents Monday asking callers to watch their language when calling town hall.

He says some calls have been threatening and the language is upsetting secretaries. He said he has instructed secretaries to hang up and that threats will be referred to the Connecticut State Police.

“The public officials involved were working on the town’s behalf to move utilities companies into doing what they should be doing,” he said. “No public official should be taking that abuse at any time, especially now that they’re trying to correct this situation.”

Werbner indicated that town hall employees received about 150 calls yesterday relating to the power outages, which began 10 days ago. The vast majority of the calls were civil, so only about a few were at their wits ends before being hung up on, he said.

Connecticut Light & Power reports that power outages were down to 4 percent of the town Tuesday morning. But Tolland was particularly hard hit by the persistent outages since the rare autumn storm dumped a foot of snow in parts of the state on Oct. 29.

Werbner said the hang-up policy was primarily put in place for yesterday and he doesn’t expect any further concern going forward.

“It’s just a byproduct of the problems that we had for 10 days of a period that utility companies should have resolved this issue much earlier,” he said. “I don’t think people would be as agitated as they had become.”

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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