Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Democracy and the Inevitable Regional Water Authority

Insist on Electing Leaders of Regional Institutions

Let’s suppose that sometime in the not too distant future the state legislature enacts a framework for a regional water authority in southeast Michigan. That could be done with or without inclusion of the City of Detroit or even Wayne County, but preferably with both on board.

Before we get too much farther along the path of regional government by means of political appointments (for example, the present Board of Water Commissioners), we should insist on democracy in the form of regional elections.

The damage done to water services ratepayers in the region by some local officials in Detroit and political appointees is incalculable and unconscionable.

Every county served by a regional water authority should have at least one elected  representative on the authority’s board.  Under my plan, Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties would have one representative for every 350,000 residents.  The City of Detroit would not be a segregated unit.  Its (declining) population would be included in Wayne County’s total.

I would require that each candidate for election be a resident of one of the municipalities served by the authority.  In Monroe County, for instance, candidates would have to reside in either the Village of South Rockwood or Ash Township.

Got a different idea?  We’d all like to hear it.

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