Wherefore art thou, regionalism?

Just askin' - from the Sunday Plain Dealer, "Westlake's pursuit of new water source threatens stability of Cleveland utility":
One of Cleveland's biggest customers, Westlake is working on plans to set up its own water department and buy wholesale from the Avon Lake water system in neighboring Lorain County.

The Cleveland water department, already struggling with declining consumption, is moving aggressively to stop the revolt led by longtime Westlake Mayor Dennis Clough.

It would be the first defection from the regional water system since several Lake County communities left in the early 1980s, and it could have far-reaching ramifications. Some fear that if Westlake pulls out, other dissatisfied western suburbs will follow.
Read the entire piece, as it also reveals a real battle of the consultants.

What would you do if you were Westlake? Avon? Cleveland? Another suburb using Cleveland - oh wait, we are.


Ron Markowitz said...

I am not familiar with the structural operations of the Cleveland Water Department but maybe it's time to appoint a representative board consisting of a representative group of municipal customers who will have a "say" in how to get the department running in a responsible and professional manner.

ProNEO said...

Interesting regionalism case study, maybe you can take the discussion over to the Civic Commons. I would love to hear what Angie and some of the others say about this.

Here are the facts as I understand them:

A.) Cleveland Water has to be one of the worst-run Cleveland-based regional entities.

B.) Westlake residents are faced with ever-increasing rates to cover (A.), while still having to pay again to make water system infrastructure improvements in their city which Cleveland refuses to cover.
C.) Cleveland does not deny either fact (A.) or (B.)but using as one of their arguments that Westlake should stay in Cleveland Water to be fair to Cleveland and the other communities who will have to pay even higher rates to cover both (A.) and the decreased user baes caused by Westlake's leaving.
D.) You are on Westlake Council, elected to serve Westlake residents (as I am in my city.) You can either vote to continue (B.) or to stop the cycle to go to over to Avon water. But "regionalism" says Westlake taxpayers should pay higher water rates and taxes to maintain the system because they can "afford it" and to be "fair."

I think I have summarized the situation --am I missing a point?