Friday, October 09, 2015

LTE: Water Lawsuit

Time for city to end frivolous lawsuits
Asheville Citizen-Times | October 8, 2015

The City of Asheville has lost its lawsuit over management of the water system.

Asheville City Council’s expensive and unnecessary lawsuit has cost taxpayers close to a million dollars and taxpayers are paying for both sides of the dispute. The mayor has promised the city will appeal. Enough.

The law is clear. It is time for City Council to stop wasting taxpayer money on frivolous lawsuits. It is time for City Council to obey the law and loosen its grip on the people’s water system.

It’s time for all water system customers to be represented on a regional water authority.

Tim Peck, Asheville


Asheville legal bills in water case top $550,000. That's how much was spent BEFORE the appeal. It's closer to $1M at this point. That's not counting the $57 million lost by rejecting the compensation offer by MSD.

Yes, the city was offered $57M for the water system by MSD. That was a discounted value taking into account the money the city had already stolen from the system. They turned down the offer of compensation because they thought it wasn't enough. Now they have lost the water system AND the $57 million.

The mayor is already promising to spend gobs of taxpayer money to continue fighting a losing battle.

An appeal by the City of a unanimous decision, citing SCOTUS, will only delay the inevitable by perhaps a few months. There was no dissent and, therefore, no basis for the state Supreme Court to hear an appeal. If the city does file cert as promised, it is likely to be summarily thrown out. I'd like to have a little chat with the mayor right about then.In the end, the city will turn over the water system to the people who use and depend on it.

This is the THIRD time the City of Asheville has lost in court over the water system.
1. Candler v. Asheville (1958). Status: Lost
2. Asheville v. State (2007). Status: Lost
3. Asheville v. State (2013). Status: Lost

In 2012, Senator Nesbitt (D) commented on the futility of the water fight:

The Water System in Blog Posts:

The Regionalization of Public Utilities: An idea whose time has come . . . again.

MSD Merger Study, March 20, 2013