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Moore-Led Law Protects Consumers From ‘Abusive’ WPCA Collections

May 10th, 2018 · 38 Comments · City Council, City Politics, News and Events, State Politics

Moore WPCA

Moore-Led Law Protects Consumers From ‘Abusive’ WPCA Collections

A new state law shepherded by Senator Marilyn Moore authorizes the Bridgeport City Council to lower the interest rate imposed by collection practices of the Water Pollution Control Authority that has come under criticism for abusive collection action. The law passed on the last day of the legislative session on Wednesday. It now goes to Governor Dan Malloy for signing. The law protects delinquent “consumers from unfair and abusive water pollution control authority proceedings and charges.” See bill here that was co-signed by State Rep. Steve Stafstrom. An amendment was added, according to Moore, that places the WPCA under the authority of the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority. “This would end the foreclosure on properties,” she says.

“I will not stand for city homeowners being targeted and having their lives destroyed so the WPCA can profit at their expense,” Moore said prior to the bill’s passage. “Even more troubling, the foreclosures seem to disproportionately affect African-Americans, Latinos, senior, veterans, and low-income people in the Bridgeport area. People should be given an honest chance to pay their sewer bills.”

The City Council’s Ordinance Committee, with pro bono guidance from retired Superior Court Judge Carmen Lopez, is pushing for collection reforms. Municipal lawyers that enforce collection action on behalf of the WPCA have cited interest rate authority granted by state law. The bill, if signed by the governor, will empower Bridgeport’s legislative body to adopt an ordinance to “lower the  interest rate charged by such municipality on delinquent sewer assessments.”

Language from the bill:

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General
Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2018) Notwithstanding the provisions of any special act, municipal charter or ordinance to the contrary, each municipality shall adopt an ordinance, if applicable, to protect seniors, veterans and low-income families from water pollution control authority foreclosures by restricting accelerated foreclosure proceedings for past due sewer fees owed by any such person. For  purposes of this section, “municipality” means any town, city, consolidated town and city or consolidated town and borough.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2018) Notwithstanding the provisions of any special act, municipal charter or ordinance to the contrary, any municipality may adopt an ordinance, if applicable, to lower the  interest rate charged by such municipality on delinquent sewer assessments.

Sec. 3. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2018) Notwithstanding the provisions of any special act, municipal charter or ordinance to the contrary, any municipality may adopt an ordinance, if applicable, to restrict assignees of water pollution control authorities from purchasing foreclosed properties and to establish financial guidelines that trigger foreclosure for nonpayment of fees.

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38 Comments so far ↓

  • Jimfox

    Let’s call this bill the Mark Anastasi / Tom McCarthy bill.

  • John Marshall Lee

    It has taken steady attention by Senator Moore, Council members of several sessions, community groups like NAACP, and other concerned citizens to move the concern about injustice and unnecessary profiteering, into a new lane for operations. Remedies as allowed will not put the WPCA out of business for want of cash flow. Neither will they likely turn properties over with owners confused by the relatively rapid penalties increasing compared to the WPCA bills deferred. Thank you Senator Morton and special thanks to Judge Carmen Lopez who came to sessions two years ago and stayed with the topic to assist Council regarding Ordinance and legislator relative to helpful language. Meaningful community cooperation? Time will tell.

  • Tom White

    Raised Bill No. 5509 was passed.

    Has State Statute CGS Subsection 7-258 been amended to authorize changes by municipalities?

  • Donald Day

    Great job at the State Capital Senator Moore on behalf of the residents of Bridgeport. Enida Martinez, the residents of Bridgeport owe you debt of gratitude for pulling the covers off of this miscarriage of justice. I got nothing but ???????? for you ladies.

    • Owen Denzin

      How about just paying your bill ?

      • John Marshall Lee

        After reading several of your initial questions, thought i might take a turn at bat. How about when infirmity of old age, sickness and disability stops work and earning, or paying one other bill means a small one from WPCA goes unpaid? Any of these life experiences ever happen to you? Anyone you know?
        But the WPCA needs its cashflow, yes, but is the system that has been in place for some time, looked at the little people who got there as people with a problem or ducks to be plucked at top dollar? Since you are new to posting here under this name, would you have the WPCA be more punitive than other services that require cash flow in order to encourage payments? Time will tell.

    • Owen Denzin

      Why doesn’t Moore answer emails about the tolls in CT that she supports ? Why does she always bring race into everyone ? Brainwashed morons !!

      • John Marshall Lee

        Have not heard Moore’s position on tolls, but you have? Why not share your knowledge and opinion? How does she introduce race always? Is it reasonable to cite race when it is material to a subject? Who are these brainwashed morons you mention? Where did you get angry in the past before writing to OIB? Time will tell.

        • Owen Denzin

          Mr “time will tell” She supports tolls because she’s part of the democratic party that taxes everything. I’ve sent her several emails and her office does not have the courage to reply. The race card is always brought up, its the democratic party way(especially blacks). The brainwashed morons are the ones that allow this woman and many other old politicians to stay in office. People don’t know the issues and allow these politicians to “roam free” and do whatever they want.

      • Andmar

        Do you have any idea who her constituency are? Most of CT is suburban so most politicians do not have to consider issues that concern certain marginalized groups. And I will add that the bill does not even mention the word “race” in it. So it looks like you are the one adding this and making this more charged than it need to be. She represents a constituency with a lower median income and where there is a disproportionate level of poverty; and therefore are more likely to be racial and ethnic groups. This bill can potentially also help the elderly as well. And in case this is viewed as “unfair”; this is a drop in the bucket in comparison to what corporations to for financial profit.

        • Owen Denzin

          ah yes.. blame the corporations.. the ones that employ thousands of people and pay millions in taxes. Don’t blame the state and municipal unions that have a stranglehold on everything.

  • Donald Day

    I got nothing but Love for you ladies.

    • Ron Mackey

      Don, here you have two elected officials doing what the voters voted for, serving their district especially on this issues that has cause such hardship on some residents with their lost of their homes. Especially for City Council member Enida Martinez who had her hardship issue with the WPCA and also being threatened with legal action from a city attorney with a bogus claim.

      Don, let repeat what you said,”I got nothing but Love for you ladies.”

      • Owen Denzin

        Does she care about the tolls ? Why does she ignore emails and calls that don’t support tolls for CT ? Maybe Bpt politicians can use the race card to stop the tolls ? That usually works with everything

  • The Bridgeport Kid

    Auerbach will gas off against this. It impedes the gentrification of Bridgeport. He wants no one but shiny happy middle class white people living in Bridgeport.

    • Steven Auerbach

      Lennie, You can’t say I haven’t tried. I have been told by many that they are tired of me blogging and being maliciously maligned. Clearly, Others have seen what I overlooked. Perhaps you imagine I will continue to respond to ignorant posts that malign my character and most importantly the Auerbach Name. Wish you continued success as I said last week in an email and I will bid you adieu. This blog has become a miserable pity party and I am drained.

      Bridgeport Kid, although I appreciate your crush on me and trying daily to get my attention, I am not interested and consider this the same as stalking, bullying and unnecessary abuse. Good luck and good life to you.I expect our paths shall never cross and we see life through different eyes. I respect our differences you have no respect for anyone.

    • Jennifer Buchanan

      Interesting comment from you D-E-R-I-C-K as you promised to physically hit a group of 10 and under black kids in Black Rock because they needed it in your opinion. Granted they were photographed stopped in the street on their bikes, blocking traffic and reported giving the finger to drivers, but your posts and defense to those critical of your statements reads, to me, blacks are welcome as long as they act like well behaved (white) kids or it’s my job to knock some sense into them because their parents obviously won’t. But I could be completely wrong …

      • The Bridgeport Kid

        So what’s your solution, telling them to stand in a corner? Write “I will not do it again” a thousand times? The punks in question are not receiving any discipline at home. Knowing there are consequences to their actions is a valuable piece of information for them to have. Those punks are terrorizing Black Rock. Where are the men folk while this is going on? Where are the cops? This is not a problem that cannot be addressed with a few licks across the offending teen’s ass. He’ll think twice about doing it again.

        By the way, learn to spell my name correctly.

        • Jennifer Buchanan

          You’re not the boss of me, or are you going to beat me until I spell your name correctl?

          • The Bridgeport Kid

            That’s right, I’m not your boss. Your a hoosier from the state that gave us Reverend Jim Jones and Mike Pence.

  • Bob Walsh

    Bye bye Stevie.

  • Donald Day

    Good riddance.

  • Owen Denzin

    Why doesn’t she criticize the WPCA as a whole ? Their rates have gone up significantly over the past 10 years. I see white WPCA trucks all over the city and surrounding towns. Workers doing close to nothing at all. Reminds me of the CT DOT highway workers

    • Ron Mackey

      Senator Moore id answer your question.

      “I will not stand for city homeowners being targeted and having their lives destroyed so the WPCA can profit at their expense,” Moore said prior to the bill’s passage. “Even more troubling, the foreclosures seem to disproportionately affect African-Americans, Latinos, senior, veterans, and low-income people in the Bridgeport area. People should be given an honest chance to pay their sewer bills.”

    • John Marshall Lee

      Owen,
      Some of those white trucks you see may be from other WPCA entities, you know? We only handle the waste coming primarily from Trumbull that is piped through our system (some amount is handled by septic systems) and Bridgeport. “Workers doing close to nothing at all” are targets for many unhappy citizens. But sometimes they are merely workers assembling before or after a shift or on an earned work break. Take a picture. Send it in with your posts. Become a real watchdog….or not. Time will tell.

  • Harvey Weintraub

    Steve,you’re “leaving” again??.You just “left” a few months ago.LOL,see you in a month or so..

  • Bob Walsh

    Way to go Marilyn Moore.
    Protecting the little people who have no voice in the process.

  • Bob Walsh

    Who is Owen Denizen?
    A friend of Deecken?

    • John Marshall Lee

      Bob,
      Whether we are talking about Own Denizen or Owen Denizen, it seems likely that there is no blogger of that proper name writing on OIB.

      A new nom de plume, perhaps? Thought Lennie was rid of these. Does this adopted name provide a hint into the character of the individual? Owen suggests that the person is their “own” creation and centered on meeting their Own needs and satisfaction. Denizen suggests an inhabitant of a place, or someone who can be found in certain surroundings. Perhaps a clam would symbolize such a creature, a squishy creature without sufficient backbone to provide their real name that requires a shell to protect itself from being “known” Denizen? Time will tell.

  • Tom White

    It would be helpful to see a review of the passed bill and its amendments by the Office of Legislative Research. Does it comply with the Federal Clean Water Act? One of the state representatives or senators would need to request it.

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