Monday, September 15, 2008

Water Boarding Tripp

The NY Post reported on Saturday about the forced resignation of Jim Tripp, the current chair of the city's Water Board: "A respected environmentalist who publicly criticized City Hall's soaking of water ratepayers was forced out by Mayor Bloomberg yesterday as chairman of the Water Board. Jim Tripp, general counsel of the Environmental Defense Fund and a 16-year member of the Water Board, unexpectedly announced his resignation at a routine meeting of the panel in lower Manhattan."

Tripp is reportedly being replaced by a long time government bureaucrat, someone who know doubt, will be more amenable to the persistent mayoral soaking that we've come to expect from the agency that sets water rates. Here's the Post's take on his replacement: "Moss told The Post he agreed with Tripp that "we don't want the city budget to be balanced on [water] rates." But he parted ways on tactics. Moss, whose government service dates back five decades to the Wagner era, was the only board member who wouldn't sign a letter to City Hall questioning the rental agreement. "You don't do that until you've exhausted everything else," Moss said. "My experience and take on the matter is you fight this out first with various agencies of the city internally."

Translation-"I'm not gonna do anything stupid by rocking the boat and embarrassing the mayor for his inept DEP." This is another example of the imperiousness of the Bloombergistas. As the NY Daily News highlights: "Water Board Chairman James Tripp quit Friday amid speculation that he was forced out after slamming city officials for draining more than $76 million from the system that could be used to hold the line on rate hikes."Jim Tripp spoke out against what the mayor was doing about the diversion of funds and this is what he got for his efforts," said Councilman James Gennaro (D-Queens), who opposed rate hikes and spotlighted a controversial rental compact."

The way in which water rates are miscalculated in this city is an open scandal-even Law and Order did an episode on the issue-and Mayor Mike continues to allow the agency to run rudderless; with the clueless Emily Lloyd at the helm. The only thing absent here is the lack of a crane collapse that would force the mayor to act to insure competency at this poster child for bureaucratic skulduggery.