Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Former WSSC Commissioner Responds to MPW

Former WSSC Commissioner Manuel R. Geraldo wrote the following comment on our post about the behavior of Prince George's County Executive Jack Johnson's WSSC appointees. Johnson appointed Joyce Starks to replace Geraldo and the Washington Post's account of what happened next is eye-opening. Our readers should be aware that our original post on the WSSC Commissioners has attracted several hundred visits in less than a week and is one of the most popular stories to ever appear on this blog.

I am a former Commissioner of WSSC. I was appointed by Wayne Curry and I served with Artis Hampshire Cowan and Gregory Wells for Prince George's County. My term expired two meetings before the firing of John Griffin and Mike Errico. During my tenure with Artis and Gregory, WSSC was true to its mission and the ratepayers and approved programs for capital improvements, improved infrastructure and enhanced security of WSSC's facilities. The governance of WSSC was guided by our mission. We were always conscious about rates but we put the health considerations of the rate payers first. I have kept abreast of WSSC after my term expired because I am a ratepayer and I was proud of WSSC's role in the water utility industry. WSSC was regarded as a leader in the industry. To be sure,WSSC has not been managed or governed effectively since John Griffin and Mike Errico were fired. Moreover their firing was politically motivated. Some of the Commissioners who voted to terminate John Griffin had given him excellent evaluations in December. I am aware because I was the Commissioner repsonsible for soliciting and reviewing the evaluations of the Commissioners. Since their firing, WSSC has lost several long tenured employees who truly believed in the mission of the WSSC. These were employees with long institutional history. These employees left because of interference by Commissioners and poor management. I must disagree with the post "this is what you get under one party rule". During my tenure, Wayne Curry did not interfere with the Prince George's County Commissioners. His charge to us was for the Commissioners to do what was best for the ratepayers of the county.

Manuel Geraldo