posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 05:50 AM
Well, I don't live in Detroit, neither am I an US citizen, so I can't claim I know all the details.
Here in Brazil, though, it's pretty simple.
The city government can chose to run the service on its own or privatise it.
Water services is something usually done by companies and the population have to pay for it.
I know a few interesting cases from some small cities.
Case # 1 - City of Cogonhas in Minas Gerais state.
In Congonhas, water is free. That means the city government has to fit the costs into the annual budget and run the service on its own. Now, anyone
who's tried to get hired by a government knows they are almost always in a tight budget(heck, at least in most cities here in brazil).
Anyways, water is free. One day they found a corpse in the water supply. That´s right. A corpse. Either someone fell into it and drowned or was
murdered and thrown in there. And the corpse looked like its been there for a little while.
It hit the news and the population was enraged. The mayor said, then, that they didn't have the budget to run the water service properly and that the
best idea was to privatise the water service, but let them know that once that was done, the population would have to start paying for the water. And
left the choice to the citizens.
Well, they decided they would rather keep the poor water service instead of having to pay for water.
I know you cna say the city government HAS to provide a good service, but that´s good to read on the paper. Now try to fit the costs of that into the
city budget. It´s not easy.
Case # 2 - City of Piquete in the state of Sao Paulo.
This city has a population of 10.000. With a population that small and no industry or any big company in your city, there aren't much taxes to be
collected, so the budget is extremely tight.
Still, city provides water AND energy for free. Now that is absurd. Free energy. There is almost no money left. But people got to used to have all
this free stuff that they dont understand it costs money to give it to them for free. And then they demand MORE STUFF. Like, pave the roads, build
more schools, raise the salaries of public school teachers, buy an ambulance, etc etc.
So the mayor said that the city has no money to do all that and that he would privatise water and energy. That way the population would have to start
paying for those things, but at least the city would have the budget to invest in other areas.
The population was against it!
Now, it seems from what I have read that Detroit has many other problemas besides the water issue, but I can't know for sure.
But speaking from my perspective here in Brazil, I would rather pay for my water and electricity than to get a corpse in the water supply or ruin the
city budget just get stuff for free.
[edit on 22-4-2010 by henriquefd]