Green Delaware Action Alert #99
Mayor "Bad Faith" Baker and Wilmington's Sewer Crisis
clean water advocates:
Flush" Sewer Cleanup in Deep Doo-Doo?
Port Penn, DE. June 13, 2001. When James Baker was running against incumbent Mayor James Sills of Wilmington, Delaware, Baker said he wanted a 100% cleanup of Wilmington's raw sewage dumping. He said he could accept House Bill 671, the predecessor of HB 195, calling for a ban on raw sewage dumping in Delaware by Jan 1, 2008.
He continued this line-vaguely-after the election, while refusing to cooperate with those promoting the cleanup effort. His "communications director," former journalist John Rago, wouldn't answer substantive questions but loudly insisted that "this mayor is different!" Baker kept the same foot-draggers in his Public Works Department.
Well, this mayor IS different. Compared to Mayor Sills, Baker is proving smarter, more aggressive, less scrupulous, and even more dedicated to keeping the sewage flowing into the rivers. The health of Wilmington children obviously means little to him. City Council president for nearly twenty years, "Bad Faith" knows how to play on peoples' hopes and expectations without making real commitments.
On the other hand, Wilmington's credibility isn't too good in Dover, and legislators know people all over Delaware want the sewage dumping stopped. Various organizations, such as the League of Women Voters and the Delaware Nature Society are supporting HB 195, although not very actively so far. Seaford got rid of its combined sewer overflows. If Wilmington is determined to be irresponsible, some other body, perhaps a metropolitan sewer authority, may need to take over the sewers.
Stopping the dumping of raw sewage into our rivers is a no-brainer to most of us. It's a statewide issue: the dumping harms water quality throughout the Delaware Bay. But change doesn't come easily, no matter how glaring the need. Special interests often prevail unless the people speak out. Under no circumstances should the Bad Faith Bill be considered.
ACTION: Is your organization supporting HB 195?
ACTION: This is a
good time to speak out. Governor Minner can be reached at email@example.com,
744-4101 (Dover), 577-3210 (Wilmington) and
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If you are associated with an environmental or civic or health organization, please ask it to support HB 195. If you are an officer of such an organization, please contact Green Delaware. See contact info below.
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page was last updated on June 16, 2001.