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Update 8

Who is in charge here? And what is the Pennsylvania Democratic Party Vice-Chairman’s connection to the City’s continuing attempt to sell CWA?

Thank you for writing letters opposing the CWA sale. BUT your support and requests are being ignored by both the City and DCED.

Despite a Court ruling that the City alone could not sell the CWA[1] (Judge Angelos’ Order is attached), and despite your support, the City’s attorneys continue to move forward on their sham RFP process. Here are questions that your constituents would benefit from having answered.

  • Question: Would the City attorneys being doing this if the DCED was not encouraging the City to pursue the sale of CWA? The DCED is in charge now and the conduct continues.
  • Question: Is the DCED consulting with the City before selecting a Receiver to make sure the Receiver is acceptable to the City’s elected officials? If so, why?
  • Question: Is the DCED’s past and present conduct the “oversight” and remedy contemplated by Act 47?
  • Question: Why does the DCED, in the middle of a pandemic, encourage and allow the City to attempt to divert the CWA’s time, energy and resources from providing clean safe drinking water to the 200,000 people (33,000 of whom live in the City) whose daily lives depend on CWA’s water?

Despite their characterization of the City’s financial troubles as recent, the DCED and the City’s Act 47 Consultants, have watched and done nothing as the City’s financial condition deteriorated from 2011 to the present. See the two attached graphs (Chester City Fund Bal. and Budget) taken from information in the City’s published audited financial statements. The City has been unable to produce 2017, 2018 and 2019 financial statements for reasons fully known to DCED and the Act 47 team but not made public.

  • Question: How can one not conclude that the DCED and the Act 47 teams wanted to let the City sink financially so that the City’s only option was to attempt a CWA sale?

The City’s financial decline was over multiple years and fully observed by DCED and the Act 47 team and they did NOTHING. This is a manufactured financial crisis.

Since at least 2017 (and probably 2016), Aqua and DCED have been working to maneuver a sale of CWA’s customers and assets to Aqua (see the attached email).[2]

  • Question: How can a private for-profit business corporation work with a state government agency to force a hostile takeover of CWA, a municipal authority?

If Aqua is successful in their takeover efforts they will realize a minimum of 1 billion dollars in EXTRA revenue every generation from existing CWA ratepayers, the same ratepayers whose water rates will at least double, permanently.

Politics, Politics and More Politics. What has changed since 2017, is who is involved in the attempted hostile takeover of CWA. In 2017, the Chairman of the Pennsylvania Republican Party was involved[3] but not anymore. This past week the name Micah Mahjoubian, appeared as the registrant for a new website used by the City of Chester to encourage a sale of CWA. Coincidentally, there is a person named Micah Mahjoubian

who is the Policy Director and Senior Advisor to the Honorable Sharif Street, State Senator for the 3rd District of Pennsylvania (Phila.). The Senator also serves as the Vice Chairman of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party.

  • Question: Why does the name of Micah Mahjoubian, appear as the registrant for a new website used by the City of Chester to encourage a sale of CWA[4]? Is Senator/Vice-Chairman’s Street involved in the attempt to sell CWA? If so, how? And more importantly why?
  • Question: Do any of us really think that the DCED will take a contrary position to the Democratic State Party Vice Chairman and Senator’s Policy Director’s interests?
  • Question: Is this a sign that Philadelphia politicians are moving for a takeover of Delco?

Currently there are more than 16 active litigation matters involving the various parties’ attempts (or about their attempts) to conduct a hostile takeover of CWA. The DCED is fully aware of all of this litigation and has consistently provided written encouragement to the City to engage in this litigation, even in its statement supporting the Governor’s Declaration of Financial Emergency.

  • Question: If the DCED Secretary has taken the public position that the DCED has never said that the City owns CWA, why does the DCED and the Act 47 team allow the City to conduct this litigation and continue to try to sell CWA to Aqua?
  • Why won’t anyone answer this Question: Why did the City hold a private meeting with a for profit company, a company that has been engaged in a three year hostile takeover attempt of CWA, two business days before the City’s RFP responses were due? Why won’t the DCED find out the answers to the questions that have been asked about this meeting? Who was there? What was discussed? What promises were made?

Any questions or comments should be directed to Francis J. Catania, Solicitor, Chester Water Authority. During the pandemic it is best to communicate with CWA via email,

[1] See paragraph 17 of the attached Order

[2] See email from Aqua to DCED Act 47 Team of April 24, 2017 at 7:51 p.m. Should we all be looking forward to hearing more about the content of this conversation?

[3] CWA first learned of their effort in April of 2017 when the then Chairman of the Pennsylvania Republican party, Valentino DiGiorgio, Esquire left a voicemail message for one of the CWA board members telling the member about the Aqua plan, two weeks later Aqua submitted an uninvited offer and the CWA Board rejected it 10 days after receipt. Voicemail was left five days before the Aqua email of April 24, 2017 (fn2).

[4] Despite Judge Angelos’ ruling the City has proceeded on its own to try to accept the RFPs that it gathered through a sham process.  See,

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