Many of you may recall my report on HB 221 on the MyViewMatters radio show last week concerning a proposed regional wastewater commission currently being filed as HB 221 in Frankfort. I went on about how the STOP IT guys President Ray Pierce and OPS Manager Paul Holliger went to Frankfort and kept it from getting out of committee.
Well the situation has drastically changed. HB 221 was supposed to be revisited NEXT Wednesday February 24 and amazingly it got shoved up to this Wednesday February 17 with no notice. Thank goodness the STOP IT boys paid attention and showed up "just in case."
Except this time there was no allowed discussion. The issue was already decided. The “fix” was in! (Gee I wonder why.)
HB 221 was pushed out of committee and sent to the floor where it is being debated today. It also has one missing element in it. One of the original counties has decided (and I might add WISELY) to get out of this MSD bailout plan. Shelby County has decided NOT to be a part of this plan. Good for them. They apparently could see the writing on the wall and that this was just another way for Abramson and Herbert ”Bud” Schardein to fund their mismanagement over the years by being bailed out by the rest of the State at large.
The Louisville MSD no doubt needs help. I have reported on MSD issues throughout this website for some time including how it will be the financial ruin of Jefferson County:
Louisville News and Politics: MSD: DISASTER LOOMING?
Louisville News and Politics: MSD: THE COMPARISON CONTINUES
Louisville News and Politics: ABRAMSON AND MSD: WHO IS TELLING THE TRUTH?
It is important to remember facts here as this potentially affects the 6 other Kentucky counties and their way of life.
HB221 is going to create a regional wastewater commission that will have the following powers: Eminent domain, Unregulated rate increases, and the power to take on debt that we repay without oversight. Current Mayor Jerry Abramson will be the one in charge to set up this commission because Louisville has the biggest population involved.
That is one major problem. Abramson has mismanaged Louisville's MSD into near bankruptcy and now will do the same to the rest of the State especially if elected as Lt. Governor. This proposal is just one example of why he wants to be Lt. Gov. and one example of why he should not be elected.
Abramson appoints literally every board member in Louisville including MSD Director Herbert ”Bud” Schardein who admits he has been working on this Regional Wastewater proposal plan for at least 3 years. Why would he need this plan? To cover the losses he and Abramson put on us all thanks to the EPA consent decree they agreed to that has forced us into near insolvency.
The mismanagement of MSD is solely the responsibility of Herbert ”Bud” Schardein and Jerry Abramson. This has been a known problem since at least 2004. It is a problem he chose to ignore at the expense of the citizens of Louisville and now wants to mismanage at the State level. Herbert ”Bud” Schardein and Jerry Abramson have done nothing to work towards a plan to fix it. Well they have worked for this "regional" plan for 3 years apparently according to Mr. Schardein's own statements. A plan that makes someone else pay for their mismanagement as usual.
As this bill is currently worded, HB 221 also (apparently) allows money to be moved from one area of commission members to another without any oversight approval.
For example Hardin County money can be moved to Jefferson County to cover their debt whatever the commission decides and vice versa. It is obvious that we in Jefferson County have no money to move back and forth so we will be the only beneficiary. We must be honest about that upfront. Don't try to hide and lie to the people of the other counties of Hardin, Meade, Bullitt, Spencer, Oldham, Jefferson, and Nelson.
With MSD's current debt service of $2.7 billion dollars, and another $1.6 Billion on the way thanks to the Herbert “Bud” Schardein negotiated EPA consent decree, that total will rise to approximately $4.3 Billion in the next couple of years.
This is not acceptable at any level. You can read why here:
Louisville News and Politics: JEFFERSON COUNTY MAYOR CONVICTED ON CORRUPTION AND FRAUD CHARGES OVER MULTI BILLION DOLLAR SEWE...
And therein lies a HUGE reason why this plan cannot be trusted nor why it should be approved.
There has been no transparency or oversight when it comes to MSD in Louisville to date. Rate increases that are rubber stamped with absolutely no accountability for spending. We do not need to use this same old mindset on the rest of the State when they are suffering as well.
Without oversight by the PSC this plan will run amok as well. You can count on it as Abramson has proven time and time again through the years he does not want accountability for fear of what will be found. MSD, with Abramson approval, has nearly bankrupted us and this plan will do the same to anyone else involved.
Of course the lackey's are already on board trying to circumvent any oversight.
Larry Clark (D-Jefferson Co.), Linda Belcher (D-Bullitt Co.), and Steve Riggs (D-Jefferson Co.) I am told are staunchly opposed to the having the Kentucky Public Service Commission regulate and oversee this Regional Wastewater commission. This really is no surprise either as all have a reputation of being against anything that may hold them accountable.
While HB 221 would definitely benefit Louisville because of our ability to use other Counties monies, it is not good for the 6 counties that will be involved. I love Louisville and want us to move ahead but I cannot support a bill that will hurt others, as well as ourselves, in our quest to do so.
Call your Representative now and get involved.
Our future may well depend on it.
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