Reject sewer utility privatization Barbara and Stephen Miller, Haddonfield Recently, the public became aware of secret discussions between members of the Cumberland County Utilities Authority (CCUA) and a private-equity firm, Bernhard Capital Partners of Louisiana.
We thank Rep. Kim for signing on as cosponsor, and we hope our own congressman, Donald Norcross, D-1st Dist., and others in our state congressional delegation do likewise. Polls indicate the money-in-politics issue reaches across the political divide, and has broad support from Republicans, independents and Democrats alike.
Kim has proven he is a representative of, by, and for the people, and a dedicated public official — what big money shouldn’t buy. The only way to address a Supreme Court decision like Citizens United is through the constitutional amendment process, which is why HJ Res 1 is so important.
So, it appears that instead of focusing on reversing this decline by improving county services, CCUA members who favor this privatization want to help a private company turn a bigger profit. When Bernhard made a similar pitch to the City of Millville (which is not served by CCUA) a few years ago, city officials ultimately decided against it because it would cost the city valuable revenue in the long term and possibly lead to higher rates. What we need is leadership focused on the important issues that affect our communities, not on having secret conversations with private companies. Make no mistake, this is happening because of our county leadership. We have witnessed time and again elected officials appointing friends and supporters to run our government. During the presentation, a Bernhard representative stated that communities served by the CCUA are in “decline,” as the number of customers goes down and continuing expenses stay the same. He predicted the authority eventually would be “financially stressed” if nothing is done,
While the CCUA might receive an influx of cash in the beginning, the long-term costs of this plan were not laid out. Needless to say, there are too many remaining questions to support this deal. While no specifics have been mentioned, the concept is that the CCUA would receive an upfront “monetization” payment from Bernhard, and the company would receive certain rights to the wastewater management plant and the user fees it generates. The financial impact on ratepayers was not discussed during a subsequent public presentation.
The News Highlights
- All NJ Lawmakers Must Support Campaign Funding Correction Letters
- Check the latest News news updates and information about business, finance and more.
For Latest News Follow us on Google News
- Show all
- Trending News
- Popular By week