“Expert” Dodges Water Rate Question
By now, residents of Northville Township are aware that the rate we pay for water will increase about 11.3 % from 2015 to 2016. This increase is outrageous, but was totally predictable. At the September 14th Water Rate Forum, the Township had two government employees (one DWSD and one with the Township) and one outside paid consultant, make a presentation and answer a limited self-selected set of questions about this massive increase in rates. A resident asked Vyto Kaunelis, Chairman of the Board of OHM, “what government agency audits your rate calculation for accuracy?” Mr. Kaunelis dodged the question, because there isn’t any. No agency, government or otherwise, reviews the promulgated rates. If the track record of review is any indicator, the DWSD audit missed the criminal activity of Kwame Kilpatrick and Victor Mercado, both now serving long prison terms, so there shouldn’t be any confidence that the interests of rate-payers are being protected now. There isn’t, wasn’t and won’t be any incentive for GLWA or DWSD to review the rate-generating calculations they develop, and as a result, municipalities like Northville Township face ever-increasing unfair water rates.
The people of Southeast Michigan deserve fairness in water rates from the monopolistic water utility that is the Detroit Water and Sewer Department. One possible solution is to subject the DWSD and GLWA to the entity that regulates other utilities in the state: The Michigan Public Service Commission. After all, the stated goal of the Michigan Public Service Commission is to establish “fair and reasonable rates for regulated services and adopt and administer fair terms and conditions of service for Michigan's utility customers.” What sense does it make to have an organization such as the Michigan Public Service Commission and not include water utilities with all the other utilities that are regulated by the MPSC? This question becomes even more relevant when you consider that the DWSD provides water for 40% or more of the population of Michigan and has just reconnected with Flint this past week.
The solution is to demand that all water rates in the Detroit Water Region be regulated by the Michigan Public Service Commission. Please contact your state representatives and state senators and ask that water rate fairness be returned to Southeast Michigan. Please take a few minutes to view the information in the referenced Water Rate Fairness Presentation.
Bob Cushman and Matt Wilk – Northville Republicans Club
Reference Video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKEHjEIDdVs