DETROIT (WWJ) – The Detroit Water and Sewer Department is drawing a lot of comments … seemingly all from suburban leaders.

Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel says privatizing the Detroit Water and Sewer Department under direction of an elected board could prevent corruption that sometimes accompanies politically appointed boards.

“I think it lends itself to less of an opportunity for any public corruption if you will, when it’s owned by government and have their own people seated on it – it opens up potential for people to say, ‘you know what, I control contracts and bids’ that’s when you see the problems we have seen in the city of Detroit when it came to Detroit Water and Sewer. So I want to have them explore the opportunity of maybe seeing if there is a regional opportunity with privatization,” said Hackel.

But he’s saying “not so fast” to a plan that would have Oakland and Macomb County buying into a regional water board.

“Yeah, we are going to at least listen,” said Hackel. “But the bottom line is we need facts, we need figures, we can’t invest in something if we don’t know what the future prospect of that investment is going to be and we are not hearing a lot about, really, what the numbers are currently, we are hearing a lot about what numbers were in the past, we understand that, we understand the problems … that have existed but what about the ones that are coming about in the near future.”
The Macomb County Executive says he needs hard numbers to see if a “regionalized” water and sewer effort makes sense. Hackel echoes calls from Oakland County Exec L.Brooks Patterson for “more transparency” from the DWSD Board; Patterson says it’s so messed up and corrupt – that companies hired to audit the numbers are themselves now being audited.


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