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Letter: Sewer privatization is merely a bad loan

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano unveils a debt

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano unveils a debt reduction and sewer stabilization plan in Mineola, New York. (May 3, 2012) Credit: Howard Schnapp

Here we go again. Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano is trying once again to engineer a deal that would allow private investors to profit from a lease of the county sewer system [“A smelly chip to play with care,” Editorial, June 20].

Problems with privatizations begin with higher costs and inferior service. These deals reduce accountability, giving private investors power to determine maintenance policies, system upgrades and pricing. They’re in business to make money, not to respond to residents’ needs.

Mangano’s deal represents a quick-fix approach that in the end would fix very little and leave county residents to repay what is essentially a loan floated to a private investment company.

Other municipalities have already learned the hard way that auctioning off public assets for short-term financial gain is bad public policy.

Eric Weltman, Brooklyn

Editor’s note: The writer is a senior organizer of Food & Water Watch, an advocacy organization.