In the face of almost 100 percent opposition, the Madera County Board of Supervisors on Monday took a step toward privatization of the county’s 34 special utility districts that provide water service.
The 3-2 vote came after a full morning of testimony by members of various county utility districts, as well as county residents, most saying they didn’t want any part of privatization.
The idea for privatization was raised in the spring by former County Administrative Officer Stell Manfredi and former chair of the county Water Advisory Board, Steve Sagouspe, representing a private, out-of-county water company interested in taking over the county’s water utilities. Those utility districts now function independently, but with county oversight, and using county expertise.
The supervisors had asked the engineering department to come up with a recommendation that could be part of a request for proposals for privatization...