WaterWatchNYC wishes to congratulate Mehul Patel, Vice President of Moynihan Station Development Corp., on his recent appointment to the Water Board.
We wish him much luck and hope that he has the courage to stand up for what’s right.
While the mayor has said that he would renegotiate the rental agreement with the Water Board, the current fiscal crisis facing the city is making that scenario seem quite unlikely. This means that the Water Board is going to continue paying the city exorbitant fees for the use of the reservoirs and subsequently, New Yorkers’ water rates are going to continue to climb astronomically.
Former Water Board Chairman Jim Tripp set a bold precedent recently when he resigned his post in protest of the mayor’s intransigence. Since then, two more members have left the Water Board, Marilyn Gelber and Maria Santos Valentin. It seems that no one wants to be the bad guy blamed for New York’s upcoming rate increases.
Meanwhile, the Water Board is holding a public hearing on Thursday, November 20, most likely to announce three new members. (The new members are appointed by Mayor Bloomberg and will no doubt support his position on the lease agreement.) Details can be found on the Water Board website.
With three of the board’s members expected to join this week, a majority of its seven members will have been sitting on the board for less than two years. (Current chairman Alan Moss was elected in early 2007.)
The DEP’s Deputy Commissioner, Steve Lawitts (who, if you remember, was biking through Amsterdam when former Commissioner Emily Lloyd announced her resignation), has been appointed Acting Commissioner of the DEP.
He previously worked for the Department of Sanitation and currently retains his post as Executive Director of the Water Board. (UPDATE 4/21/09: He is also a board member on the Municipal Water Finance Authority. Now all he has to do is get elected mayor and he could control every aspect of water in NYC!)