DETROIT (WWJ) – Dozens of citizens packed Detroit City Council chambers on Tuesday to urge Council to aggressively fight what they say is an attempt to privatize the city’s water department.
Failed mayoral candidate Tom Barrow was among the speakers.
“Now a Republican judge using an embedded Republican facilitator in the mayor’s office seeks to take the city’s water system,” said Barrow. “This council must act using its own lawsuit,” Barrow said.
“Would you let someone come into your home and say I don’t like the way you’re running it, and I’m taking your home? No, I don’t think so! So, I say sue them and stop them. They can’t take our water,” said one woman.
“The people have a right to expect aggressive action by the city officers in seeking to advance, conserve, maintain and protect the integrity of the human, physical and natural resources of this city,” said another.
The citizens are reacting to last week’s order by U.S. District Judge Sean Cox that gives Detroit 60 days to submit a plan for a long-term compliance with the Clean Water Act. If not, Cox is promising to impose his own solution.
Elected officials in Detroit are scheduled to meet with Cox this Friday to discuss it.
Challenges to Detroit’s control of its water and sewerage department go back decades but have gained momentum following federal indictments against former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his colleagues. The department has been under federal oversight for 34 years.