I can't help but suspect that a Harford County water authority could lead to shutting the spigot on public water - leaving county citizens the captive consumers of corporate profiteers.
We could lose control of our most precious resource: safe, high-quality, affordable and available drinking water. The idea of a "quasi-governmental" (I read that as "corporate") water authority is being floated at a time when humanitarians, environmentalists, doctors and citizen groups worldwide are objecting to water takeovers by global corporate giants (e.g., Bechtel, Nestlé, Suez, Veolia). Our county administration seems to be going against the flow with this idea.
One thing seems clear as spring water: The driver behind our water consolidation concept is more development - never mind that the more we develop, the less water we have to go around. But why advocate for incorporating a "quasi-governmental" water authority? Can't consolidation of all county and municipal water assets, operations, financing and debt be done within our existing "water authority," i.e., our county's Public Works Department?
Yes, I'm full of questions about this proposed authority: Will the $800,000 water study be a no-bid, sole-source contract? Who might get that contract? (Bechtel?) Who might end-up running our water authority? Will study results be open to public review and discussed at public hearings? Will Q&A papers be sent to every county residence? And should not this critical issue - the future of our water - then be subjected to voter referendum?
Kudos to The Aegis and reporters David Anderson and Bryna Zumer. Keep on keeping on with your reporting on this vital issue.
Richard J. Coski