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Wed January 19, 2011
Detroit councilwoman: Time to lawyer up over water issue
Legislation introduced at the state Capitol this week would transfer the majority of control over the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department to the suburbs. The bill would create a regional authority that would manage rates and contracts.
Watson urged her colleagues to hire an attorney to prepare to fight the move:
"If we sit and wait and do 'Kumbaya up in Lansing while they got their hands on our water system, we’re going to be in trouble, and the citizens here are going to be blaming everybody up here for not being armed and ready. We need to be armed and ready with litigation, and go to court."
Former governor Jennifer Granholm vetoed a similar bill several years ago. But the idea has gained new traction in Lansing, with a Republican governor and Republican-controlled House and Senate.
A recent federal indictment also renewed interest in revamping how the department is governed. The indictment detailed allegations of kickbacks and corruption related to water department contracts.