Indians back Andrew Seo for Water Dept Commissioner

Andrew Seo, a candidate for Metropolitan Water Reclamation for Greater Chicago with Iftekhar Shareef and Balvinder Singh.
Andrew Seo, a candidate for Metropolitan Water Reclamation for Greater Chicago with Iftekhar Shareef and Balvinder Singh.

CHICAGO: Iftekhar Shareef, a senior trustee of Federation of Indian Associations in Chicago (FIA) and a prominent community leader, hosted a press conference for Andrew Seo, a candidate for Metropolitan Water Reclamation for Greater Chicago, on Tuesday February 2 on Devon Avenue, the heart of mini India town area.

The conference, co-chaired by Balvinder Singh, a mainstream political activist, was well attended by media representatives and a group of invited guests. Both Iftekhar Shareef and Balvinder Singh welcomed the guests and introduced Andrew Seo, seeking support for him from Indian American voters.
Iftekhar Shareef formally read an introductory brief about Andrew Seo, a Chicago engineer by profession taking up a new challenge for water management in greater Chicago.

Andrew plans that Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) shall take over Chicago Dept of Water Management as a Primary Agency for purification and transmission of potable water to the residents and businesses in Chicago.
His plan includes shifting the burden of maintenance of aging water and sewer infrastructure from the City of Chicago to the MWRD and at the same time modernizing it. The plan also envisages reduced water and sewer fees for the city and suburban taxpayers. Shareef also requested Andrew to speak more about his plans as the Commissioner of MWRD.

Andrew Seo thanked Iftekhar Shareef, Balvinder Singh and Indian media persons for joining the press conference. He requested for a wider support from the South Asian American communities for his election as the Commissioner for MWRD. Andrews said he had already spoken to a group of prominent Chicago community and business leaders about development plans for city water management.

Andrew said his plans include more jobs for Illinois residents. “Modernizing our water and sewer infrastructure means jobs for Illinois” he said. He is also concerned about chronic urban flooding problem in Chicagoland area that affects many. Sewer backups and flooded basements caused by incessant rainfall is a major issue for residents and it can be solved by modernizing our storm water infrastructure. Andrew also supports and is dedicated to work with groups and organizations promoting a pro-business environment creating more jobs in Chicagoland area.

Asian Media USA adds:
“I have an ambitious and far reaching plan of action aimed at transforming the way water is treated, managed, and delivered in Chicago and Cook County, which will be greatly instrumental not only in creating a reliable and resilient water infrastructure but also in facilitating multifaceted prosperity,” he said.

Explaining his plan in detail, Seo said that Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) of Greater Chicago shall assume control of the city of Chicago Department of Water Management, including the City’s two water treatment plants, 12 pumping stations, water/server Mains and Personnel. He added that, as a part of his plan, MWRD would take over maintenance and operations of potable water to the residents/businesses in Chicago and Cook County as well as responsibility for the transport of waste water and storm water throughout the city of Chicago.

Andrew Seo claimed his proposed plan had a number of beneficial outcomes, which includes shifting the burden of maintaining/modernizing Chicago/Cook County’s aging water and sewer infrastructure from the city of Chicago to the MWRD, generating at least USD 5 billion for the city of Chicago to re-allocate it to funding Police/Fire/Teacher pensions, as well as for other essential city services, streamlining Government and eliminate bureaucratic red tape for homeowners and businesses, and reducing water and sewer fees for the city and suburban taxpayers.

“My plan has the ability to do everything Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants and needs at this critical time in Municipal Government”, said Andrew Seo. “The plan is in response to the call given by him last year to Chicagoans to come up with ideas to help make Government operate more efficiently and raise much needed revenue to successfully grapple with the problems relating to budget shortfalls, outstanding pension liabilities, and impending tax hikes”, Andrew Seo added.

Andrew Seo said that Chicagoland’s ability to provide clean and safe water is being challenged, as existing waste water and water infrastructure is aging and deteriorating. “Unless we start updating and modernizing our water and waste water systems soon it will become exponentially more challenging to retain and attract industry, business, and a skilled work force”, he added.

Andrew Seo argued that investments in creating a state-of-the-art water infrastructure will be greatly instrumental in creating jobs, sustaining public health, sustaining environment, and boosting economy. “The US Department of Commerce estimates that each job created in the local water and waste water industry creates 3.5 jobs in the national economy and each dollar spent yields $2.50 dollars in GDP”, he added.

Andrew Seo, a Chicago Engineer, is a former employee of both the MWRD and the City of Chicago’s Department of Water Management. He has got an impressive track record of experience in the fields of treating, managing, and delivering water. He has already pitched his plan to a number of prominent municipal and business leaders and received huge appreciation from them.

A.Q. Siddiqui
India Post News Service

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