Monday, May 7, 2007

Is the city of Detroit hiding its drive to privatize a financially sound water and sewage department?

Unions sue, suspect water takeover
Seek access to "Governance Option" Book

By Diane Bukowski
The Michigan Citizen

DETROIT – "Our city government doesn't have the right to have state secrets," said attorney George Washington April 27 as he announced the filing of a lawsuit to obtain documents about a possible water department takeover. "They are not the CIA."

Unions representing Detroit Water and Sewerage Department workers say in the lawsuit that the city has violated the state's Freedom of Information Act by failing to give them documents regarding a possible change in DWSD governance.

A panel of business leaders appointed by U.S. District Court Judge John Feikens produced the documents.

The unions are suing Mercado and the city to provide these documents since they were financed by over a half million dollars in public funds.

"This is a likely takeover plot to seize control of the department by outlying counties and establish some type of authority," said John Riehl, president of Local 207 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), representing DWSD workers.

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