April 12, 2008

The water expert

Submitted by:
Anthony Gencarelli
N.J Licensed Professional Engineer

It is with both disgust and dismay that I read the main headline story in the Union County Section of the April 6, 2007 Sunday Star Ledger. I was truly astounded how a newspaper that is supposed to provide unbiased information as a public service could publish such a once sided and, in my opinion, misleading article.

The article implies that the Rahway/United Water privatization deal has been benefited the City’s ratepayers. This claim has certainly been made publicly by Mayor Kennedy and his administration, but based on my investigations, nothing could be further from the truth. I have a copy of the privatization contract that I am willing to share with anyone interested. You don’t have to be a lawyer to understand from reading this contract that the citizens of Rahway are being taken for a ride and not a pleasant one. Also, the unwillingness or inability on the City’s part to provide billing information that I requested under OPRA also speaks volumes about this deal. Despite their recalcitrance in providing the requested information, I was able to review the City’s bills list which clearly document that United Water is receiving payment for a lot more then indicated by their contract. These are “extras” that the City fails to consider in their financial analysis of the benefit of the privatization contract. Anyone who takes the time to investigate the privatization deal for Rahway’s public water supply will have to conclude that it has actually been more expensive then it would have been to continue operating as a public utility.

Is it really believable that Mayor Kennedy is traveling oversees on this own dime to profess the benefits of privatization and for no personal gain? How many of you spend your own time and money so that corporations that you have absolutely no financial interest in or connection with can profit? Is there anyone besides me who finds it interesting that Mayor Kennedy draws an annual salary of over $60,000 from the City of Rahway, but is willing to incur travel expenses and spend his own time promoting privatization overseas without any compensation? If he is such a generous guy and so interested in doing what’s right for the public, why doesn’t he serve as Mayor of Rahway for $1.00 per year? Why doesn’t he volunteer his time for the benefit of U.S. citizens? Governor Corzine serves as Governor for $1.00 per year. Clearly privatization firms profit by taking over public utilities. There is something about this that just doesn’t seem right.

The most insulting remark in that article is where it says “Kennedy is happy that he’s able to see so many parts of the work and help people solve their water and waste problems.” If you want to learn about people helping others solve their water supply problems go to the Web site for “Water For People” at www.waterforpeople.org. There are people that are donating time and money to help the less fortunate have safe drinking water. Those are the real heroes.

If you would like to learn more about the Rahway Water privatization, or are interested in the supporting documents for my conclusions, please contact me at Gencare_97@yahoo.com.