Daddow named to represent Oakland County on water board

Steve Pardo
The Detroit News

Oakland County officials announced Thursday that Robert Daddow, deputy county executive, will represent the region's water and sewer ratepayers on the Great Lakes Water Authority.

Daddow, a certified public accountant, was part of the county's team that negotiated the new water authority agreement.

"Bob is the right person for the job," Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said in a statement. "Not only was he at the negotiation table for 15 months, but he also has worked in public finance for 40 years. He has a sterling reputation in Michigan and around the nation."

Water Resources Commissioner Jim Nash supports the appointment.

"I have confidence that Bob Daddow brings expertise to the process and will represent Oakland County's interests very well," Nash said.

Macomb County officials on Monday became the first county to announce a recommendation for its seat on the authority.

Robert Daddow

Brian Baker, finance and budget director for Sterling Heights, has won the endorsement for the position from the Macomb Area Communities Regional Opportunities organization. County Executive Mark Hackel is expected to ask the Board of Commissioners to approve Baker within days.

The authority was created this month after approvals from Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties and the approval last month of the Detroit City Council. The authority will consist of a six-member governing board: two appointments from Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and one each from the executives of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb and Gov. Rick Snyder.

Detroit and Wayne County officials are set to name their representatives within the next four weeks.

The creation of the regional water authority is designed to give suburban leaders more control over water and sewerage operations outside of Detroit while keeping water and sewerage control inside of Detroit under the DWSD. A supermajority vote of at least five of the six representatives will be required on issues such as approving water and sewer rates and high-end hires.

Under the makeup, Detroit will lease the infrastructure to communities in exchange for a 40-year, $50 million annual fee and an annual $4.5 million payment assistance fund. The fund would be used to help pay water bills for poor people throughout southeast Michigan.

Wholesale rate increases will be capped at 4 percent over the next 10 years under the new authority. Suburban communities buying water from DWSD, however, often raise rates above increases DWSD recommends to cover expenses incurred within their borders.

The $50 million is earmarked only for Detroit water-related repairs, maintenance and improvements.

Daddow will remain deputy county executive while serving on authoirty.

"I'll have two measuring sticks while serving on the board," Daddow said. "One will determine whether a matter before the board helps or harms ratepayers. The other will ascertain whether it makes monetary sense."

Daddow, 63, has served as deputy county executive since October of 2000.