“WHERE’D ALL THE MONEY GO?” Jackson MS issues are deeper than the water.
In all of the irritating and heartbreaking studies surrounding the determined difficulties of the Jackson, Mississippi water scenario, I heard a snippet that buzzed round in my head for a bit.
Properly, 2 truly. First, in fact, their water issues are all legacy “institutional racism.” At the moment? GOES WITHOUT SAYING. *eyeballroll*
The second? One thing a few close to $100M settlement with Siemens Company for…defective water meters? Did I hear that proper? If that’s true, why and the place’d that cash go?
To the primary, oft-repeated assertion, I can solely level out Jackson has been a Democratically managed metropolis (with a one-off Republican within the 40s, and Mayor Ditto, who flip coated from Dem to Rep for the final 2 years of his mayoral time period) for the higher a part of 100 years (WIKI Listing). We’re all conscious of what Southern Democrats of a sure period had been able to.
Jackson has been a Democrat-controlled metropolis since Mayor Johnson, in 1997. So 1 / 4 century to start out taking issues in hand. Make these adjustments. To be truthful, they had been up in opposition to a rock and a tough place, with a declining inhabitants, “white flight” to the suburbs or elsewhere, leaving a decrease revenue citizenry in its wake, with a metropolis to help on a tax base that was melting away. Actually, based on WABE, “a inhabitants 20% smaller as we speak than in 1980.”
I get it.
However good choices are what must occur if you get your shot, and, HOO, BOY, didn’t. That is the place the Siemens debacle got here in.
In 2013, the town contracted with Siemens to improve sewer traces, the water-treatment plant, and set up new water/sewer meters with a streamlined trendy billing system. Appeared like a terrific deal. Plenty of guarantees, based on this glorious Jackson Free Press article.
… In 2013, the Metropolis of Jackson entered into the $90-million efficiency contract with Siemens to improve Jackson’s sewer traces and water-treatment vegetation and to put in a brand new automated water-sewer billing system. Courtroom data present that, within the months main as much as the contract, Siemens had promised $120 million in “assured financial savings” for the town. The company said that the brand new water-sewer repairs and billing system alone would generate sufficient financial savings to pay for the $90-million challenge.
“In its pitch to the Metropolis, Siemens repeatedly invoked the assured construction of an vitality efficiency contract,” the Metropolis’s June 2019 lawsuit in opposition to Siemens reads. “When it got here time to execute an settlement, Siemens effectuated a ‘bait-and-switch’ that fell in need of a real efficiency contract.”…
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