Hamilton County leaders want sewer director ousted

May 23, 2014

Hamilton County Commissioners say cost overruns on Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) projects are too high and are indicating leadership is the problem.

In other words: MSD director Tony Parrott needs to go.

In a letter to interim Cincinnati city manager Scott Stiles, Hamilton County Administrator Christian Sigman says "major cost overruns within several federal Consent Decree projects is merely a symptom of larger management issues within MSD."

Sigman says problems with the Lick Run project in particular could send the price tag over $100 million. While some problems are to be expected, he says, he doesn't like how MSD leaders have handled the situation. Sigman says MSD failed to inform commissioners about the issues, adding that it was even worse "to then imply that there are no remedies available, or simply demonstrating an unwillingness to discuss changes to project scope or other cost reduction alternatives."

Stiles released a response to the letter Friday afternoon:

The Office of the City Manager received a letter from Hamilton County Administrator Christian Sigman today regarding the leadership and management of the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati. The City Manager is the appointing authority of the MSD director, and I take that responsibility very seriously. The City is uncertain where the County is getting its numbers regarding the allegations contained in the letter. I am in the process of investigating the various claims made by the County and will be drafting a response to Mr. Sigman and the Hamilton County Board of County Commissioners and expect to release it early next week.

Here's the full letter: