First Name: Art
Last Name: Cohen
Organization URL: www.saniplan.org
Geographical Location: North America
Address: 6106 Westcliff Drive, Baltimore, MD 21209, USA
Fax: +1 410-664-0243
Telephone: +1 410-664-0243
Interest in the Municipal Services Project: As a former public water and sewerage services director in Charles County, Maryland, USA and a longtime public health professional, I strongly support the public sector delivery of such services and their status as essential public utilities. There is no doubt that the public sector is fully capable of providing such services, and doing so much more efficiently than the private sector. I have for years opposed the privatization and commercialization of water and sewerage services. As a director, I saw firsthand the serious mess left behind when small private providers abandoned their water and sewer companies because they could not meet the real costs of operating such companies and providing the needed services. Of course, when the private water and sewer "providers" are larger, such as multinational (transnational) corporations, the deficiencies are compounded and affect many more people - an unfortunate example of dis-economies of large scale. In the public water, wastewater, and ecosan areas, there is not one size or type which fits all. And there is no magic in "going private" - it is quite to the contrary: The private sector has no respect for public goods and the central role they play in any society - investor profits and the bottom line take precedence over the public interest, and the public's health.