FOLLOW UP: Bill would force water authority to make records public

April 5th, 2011 by Kelly

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Over the last several months, growing concern among CWSWA customers about their rates, water quality and the financial management of the authority drew the attention of Bushweller and Blakey. At a public meeting last month, CWSWA Chairman Mark Dyer dismissed or failed to adequately address many questions from citizens — including allegations that the authority made personal loans to employees. Bushweller and Blakey asked for specific reasons why CWSWA rates are the second highest in the state for a public water company, but Dyer said the authority would not release its financials or salary information to the public. In consultation with the Attorney General’s Office, the legislators learned that the CWSWA is likely not covered by the Freedom of Information Act and therefore not required to make its records public. In light of the AG’s opinion, Bushweller and Blakey crafted a narrowly focused bill that applies only to the CWSWA.