We have all heard the adage, “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” However, at the New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board the says goes, “if it is broke, don’t fix it, just throw more money at it.” That is what the new executive director has proposed as the solution to fix that obviously broken governmental agency.
More money is not the solution. If it was, then the annual and substantial increases in our sewer and water bills that the City Council authorized about 7 years ago would have repaired the problem. It has not. At this point, the only viable solution that remains is for the City Council, the mayor and the governor to privatize the Sewerage & Water Board.
Once privatization occurs, our money will be properly managed by competent administrators and will not continue to be spent on outrageous pensions and salaries, or on band-aid solutions such as massively expensive water towers that we have seen are incapable of fixing the problem of antiquated steam turbine generators. Once privatization occurs, rank-and-file employees will finally become responsive to customers and will do their jobs instead of standing around watching others work, or worse yet, sleeping on the job, because they will no longer have Civil Service rules to protect them.
The time has come for privatization and any member of the City Council that votes to continue to take money from the citizens of New Orleans and give it to the Sewerage & Water Board should be voted out of office.
retired attorney and Mississippi River pilot